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C In USA ) 

December 1904 

Of Zappa 
Drum Computing 
How To’Refinish 


Weather Repqrt's 


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"They're Ludwig, 
so I'm not surprised 
by the sound and the quality. 

surprises me 
is the 
low price" 

- Sandy Gennaro, 
Drummer for 
Cyndi Lauper 

New Rocker ll's — Ludwig for less fhon $800. 

We asked Sandy Gennaro to try our new Rocker II outfit. 

He said, "I've been playins Ludwis for 16 years, and these 
Rocker ll's are as good as any Ludwigs I've ever played. 
They're loud and bright, and very sturdy I think they're great!” 

Then we told him we're going to sell them for $795. 

He said, "I think you're crazy." 

Crazy or not, it’s a fact: The new Rocker ll's - with tradi¬ 
tional Ludwig quality, sound, and response - have a sug¬ 
gested list price of $795. And that's a 5-piece set complete 
with hardware, Silver Dot heads, and your choice of four 
gorgeous finishes. 

Plus, if you test drive the Rocker ll's at your participating 
Ludwig dealer before December 15, you'll get this: A full- 

color poster, featuring Sandy and 37 other Ludwig-playing 
stars - free! 

Why are we selling a 5-piece Ludwig outfit for only $795? 
And why are we throwing in a free poster to boot? 

Well, maybe it’s because we wanted to give a Christmas 
present to all the drummers out there who are long on talent 
and desire, but short on cash. 

Or, maybe it’s because we're crazy. 

P.O.Box310- Elkhart,IN 46515 


VOL. 8, NO. 12 

Cover Photo by Layne Murdock 




Although his work with such artists as Frank Zappa, the Brecker 
Brothers, and UK established Terry Bozzio's reputation as a fine 
drummer, his work with Missing Persons has revealed that there is 
more to Bozzio than was demonstrated in those other situations. 
Here, he talks about the hard work that went into starting his own 
band, explains his feelings that drummers should be more visible, 

_ and details his self-designed electronic drumset. _ 

by Rick Mattingly .. . 5T 


The fact that Weather Report and David Bowie have been sharing 
the same drummer says a lot about Omar Hakim's versatility, 
especially when one considers the wide range of styles that each of 
those situations encompasses. But Hakim's background prepared 
him well for the many diverse musical settings he has encountered, 
and he recounts that background in this amiable discussion of his 

_ life and career. _ 

_ by Robin Tolleson ... .14 


by Rick Van Horn . 18 


The drummer for Deep Purple reminisces about the group's 
formation, discusses the band's reunion after an eight-year 
breakup, and describes Deep Purple's effect on today's music. He 
also talks about his experiences as the drummer for Whitesnake and 
Gary Moore, and explains the differences in playing with a 
guitar-oriented versus a vocal-oriented band. _ 

by Robyn Flans. . . - . _ 22 


_ Modest Virtuoso _ 

by Simon Goodwin . 26 









Chord Changes—Part 2 

by Bill Molenhof ... 54 


The Drummer's Dream 

by Roy Burns. ! ! 56 


In Transit _ 

by Rick Van Horn 76 


The Rhythms Of Frank Zappa 
by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. . . 102 


The Art of Drum Computing 
by Michael Bettine - ! ~ J 106 


GettingPlayingExperience _ 

by Simon Goodwin 110 

by Laura Metallo, Ph.D. 
and Charlie Perry 



Buddy Rich: "Keep The Customer 

by Jim Nesbitt . 



Rayford Griffin/Gregg 


Refinishing Your Drums 





Simmons SDS8 Electronic Drumkit 
by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 






Allen Herman 

by Don Perman . ... 30 





















DECEM8ER 1984 


I would like to take a moment to talk about the MD Advisory Board. 

I'm sure you'll notice, if you glance at the list of names under the Advisory 
Board heading, that the artists listed truly represent a wide range of percus¬ 
sion expertise. It's a group that not only includes performers from various 
segments of the music world, but teachers, authors, clinicians, drum histo¬ 
rians and percussion specialists, as well. Basically, Board members are 
selected on the basis of their areas of specialization, their concern for the 
musical development of young drummers, and their overall involvement 
with the magazine since its inception nine years ago. 

Readers should know that the Board does not actually control what goes 
into the magazine each month. This decision is made by the editorial staff 
of MD. However, they do offer suggestions, ideas, and even criticisms. 
They also make recommendations for story ideas, feature interviews, pro¬ 
file pieces and specific column department subject matter, in an effort to 
aid us in maintaining a solid editorial balance. MD Advisory Board mem¬ 
bers also assist us by occasionally writing articles for particular columns, 
verifying the accuracy of certain factual material, answering questions 
when the need arises, or sometimes simply leading us to specific sources for 
the answers to those questions. 

Perhaps it’s also important to mention that Advisory Board members 
are not financially compensated by Modern Drummer. This usually comes 
as a surprise to some people. However, keep in mind that these are dedi¬ 
cated musicians who have chosen to be of service to the magazine out of 
concern for the educational development of all drummers, and the art of 
drumming and percussion in general. I think all of them certainly deserve 
our respect and admiration in light of this. 

Every so often, new members are added to the current Advisory Board. 
This is something you may not be aware of if you don’t read the listing 
each month, which of course, most people don't do. Therefore, let me 
proudly point out that, as of late, Messrs. Andy Newmark, Larrie Londin, 
Steve Smith and Peter Erskine have joined our illustrious group of advi¬ 
sors. I think anyone involved in drumming would tend to agree that all of 
these artists are great performers and well-respected authorities in the 
drumming community, and most definitely represent a fine addition to an 
already impressive list of people. They also happen to be four of the nicest 
gentlemen in our industry, and each should prove to be a great asset to the 

As usual, readers interested in writing to any Advisory Board member 
should direct their correspondence to that individual, c/o Modern Drum¬ 
mer. My thanks, once again, to all of the artists who comprise our out¬ 
standing Advisory Board team. Your continual support and assistance is 
greatly appreciated by both the editorial staff and the readers of MD. 



Ronald Spagnardi 

Isabel Spagnardi 


Ronald Spagnardi 
Rick Mattingly 
Rick Van Horn 
Susan Hannum 
William F. Miller 
Elaine Cannizzaro 


David H. Creamer 


Kevin W. Kearns 


Isabel Spagnardi 

Ellen Corsi 


Janet Gola 


Leo Spagnardi 
Lori-Jean Broseman 
Tracy Kearney 


Evelyn Urry 


Henry Adler, Carmine Appice, Louie Bellson, Bill Bru- 
ford, Roy Burns, Jim Chapin, Les DeMerle, Len DiMu- 
zio, Charlie Donnelly, Peter Erskine, Danny Gottlieb, 
Sonny Igoe, Jaimoe Johanson, Jim Keltner, Mel Lewis, 
Larrie Londin, Peter Magadini, George Marsh, Butch 
Miles, Joe Morello, Andy Newmark, Neil Peart, Charlie 
Perry, Paul T. Riddle, Ed Shaughnessy, Steve Smith, Ed 


Susan Alexander, Charles M. Bernstein, Scott K. Fish, 
Robyn Flans, Simon Goodwin, Dave Levine, Robert 
Santelli. Bob Saydlowski, Jr., Chip Stern. Robin Tolle- 
son, T. Bruce Wittet. 

MODERN DRUMMER Magazine (ISSN 0194-4533) is 
published monthly by MODERN DRUMMER Publica¬ 
tions, Inc., PO Box 469, 870 Pompton Avenue, Cedar 
Grove, NJ 07009. Second-Class Postage paid at Cedar 
Grove, NJ 07009 and at additional mailing offices. 
Copyright 1984 by Modern Drummer Publications, Inc. 
All rights reserved. Reproduction without the permission 
of the publisher is prohibited. 

SUBSCRIPTIONS: $21.95 per year; $39.95, two years. 
Single copies $2.50. 

MANUSCRIPTS: Modern Drummer welcomes manu¬ 
scripts, however, cannot assume responsibility for them. 
Manuscripts must be accompanied by a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope. 

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Allow at least six weeks for a 
change. Please provide both old and new address. 
MUSIC DEALERS: Modern Drummer is available for 
resale at bulk rates. Direct correspondence to Modern 
Drummer, Dealer Service, PO Box 469, 870 Pompton 
Ave., Cedar Grove, NJ 07009. Tel: 800-221-1988. 
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Modern 
Drummer, PO Box 1176, Dover, NJ 07801. 



l\od Morgenstein has given the world 
of percussion some of the most musical 
lightning licks yet heard. The long-time 
drummer for The Dregs and now for The 
Steve Morse Band, Rod's playing is 
charged with originality and feeling. 

Rod's choice in drums? Premier. Why? 

Let him tell you. 

"Premier drums have character. The 
'shell within a shell’ concept of 
Resonator drums gives the sound a 
richness that's getting harder to come 
by. With other drums sounding more 
and more alike, it's good to find a kit 
with a personality." 

If you're looking for a drum set that 
sounds like you —not every other 
drummer in town—try Premier 
and make a little lightning 
. of your own. 

remler Drums—at selected 
percussion dealers . 

Premier Percussion USA, Inc. 

105 Fifth Avenue * Garden City Park, hY 11040 


Art Blakey is one of the best educational 
resources of bebop, and is a continually 
erupting geyser of wisdom. His relentless 
willingness to push young musicians to the 
point where they can hold their own is an 
altruistic endeavor few can achieve. He 
redefined the meaning of the word time, 
and although he's had a few bad times of 
his own. Art's determination to bring the 
best out of young, aspiring jazzers has 
allowed him to outlive many of his col¬ 
leagues. Art Blakey's disciplined drum¬ 
ming, coupled with his generous heart, sets 
an example for all young musicians. 

Joel Nichols 

Seattle, WA 


I just finished reading and enjoying the 
article on Carmine Appice in the Septem¬ 
ber issue of Modern Drummer, and felt 
obligated to say there's another side to 
Carmine which went unmentioned. Not 
only should Carmine be recognized as a 
good drummer, but also as an outstanding 
person. I am a drum instructor at one of 
the music stores in which, on three differ¬ 
ent occasions, he conducted two clinics 
and one class. I have also had the pleasure 
of getting to know him while at dinner, and 
on rides to the airport and to the gig. To 
show his appreciation, he put me on the 
guest list several times while with Ozzy. 
Also, there wasn't anything he wouldn't 
talk about or answer if you asked him. Sev¬ 
eral times he came down to the music store 
on his own initiative to inspire young play¬ 
ers, answer questions, and sign auto¬ 
graphs. He also gave one student there a 
free mini-lesson. 

We at Kurlan Music would like to thank 
Carmine for his down-to-earth attitude. 

Jim Kelley, Jr. 

Kurlan Music Center 
Worcester, MA 

Carmine Appice spent a good portion of 
his interview conveying the bitterness he 
feels for not getting the credit he thinks he 
deserves for all the influence he has had on 
rock drumming. Then, in the very next 
paragraph Carmine talks about one of the 
major influences on his drumming: "A big 
band drummer in Brooklyn." He doesn't 
even mention the man's name! During the 
course of his comments, Carmine speaks 
of the concept of karma. If this interview is 
any indication, it certainly proves that, 
indeed, what goes around comes around. 

Jim Pietsch 

New York, NY 

After three years of eager anticipation 
(only to find that the record was out of 
print), the Carmine Appice solo album 





<: i 








Carmine And The Rockers has finally 
reached these ears! Anyone who loves 
drums can't help but delight in this album; 
it's too bad the record company didn't 
push it more. It's also too bad (as the man 
himself is quick to point out) that Carmine 
Appice's recognition is limited to musi¬ 
cians and a few "'60s survivors" who 
remember his early work, and that he's 
found himself in the position of "backup 
drummer" to "headliners" who are far 
below his musical stature. Anyway, the 
"Drum City Rocker" would be pleased to 
know that I (among others) have always 
recognized him as a pioneer of rock drum¬ 
ming. Thank you for a fine and informa¬ 
tive article. 

Michael Albertson 
Pismo Beach, CA 


I would like to set the record straight 
regarding MD's reference to Trak drums 
in the "NAMM Highlights," October 
issue, as specializing in "economy 
drums." While we do offer a series 100, 
student kit of exceptional value, we are 
best known for our top-of-the-line drums 
in our maple-shell, 400 series. The position 
you gave us is undeserved and may cause 
professional drummers to think that Trak 
is in the business of only making student 
sets. Trak is the newest complete line of 
drums made in Japan to be introduced in 
the past eight years. 

We offer four different series and a total 
of 44 standard sets available in a variety of 
woods of laminates, and the flexibility to 
create "custom sets" as well. Please note 
the Trak ad on page 123 of the October 
issue. Jazz great Fabiano is playing our 
$2,300 power set, a great value but hardly 

David Rothfeld 
President, Trak Drums, U.S.A. 

Marlboro, MA 
At the NAMM show, the Trak representa¬ 
tive stressed that Trak drums were less 
expensive than many of the lines such as 
Tama, Sonor, etc., giving me the impres¬ 
sion that the company specialized in econ¬ 
omy-priced sets. —Rick Mattingly 


Thank you for the enlightening interview 
with Mr. Arthur Press. He is truly a musi¬ 
cian with a wealth of knowledge. I studied 
with Mr. Press in Boston from 1969 to 
1973. His concepts of music and methods 
of teaching have guided me through much 
of my teaching and performing career. 
Thank you, Mr. Press, and thank you, 
Modern Drummer. 

Larry LeGrand 
Percussion Instructor 
Cape Cod Conservatory of Music 
West Barnstable, MA 


I just received a copy of the September 
issue of Modern Drummer and must say 
that I was very impressed with the article 
on Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett. Since 
my junior high school days, I've always 
dreamed of drumming behind the Jackson 
5. Mr. Moffett has given me reassurance, 
through his experiences and outstanding 
drumming skills as well as his present 
musical status, that such dreams shouldn't 
be kept "bottled up" for fear of embar¬ 
rassment among peers. I don't read as well 
as I would someday like to, and I was very 
relieved to find out that Mr. Moffett 
doesn't read full trap set music either. And 
yet, he is a force to be looked up to in the 
music industry! I'd like to thank, in all sin¬ 
cerity and graciousness, Mr. Moffett, and 
also Jackie Santos (a personal friend) for 
giving me an extra "boost" of inspiration 
and belief in myself and in my abilities as a 
drummer. Guys, you're the greatest. 

Mark Dwarte 
Kittery, ME 


Just a few words to do with your Septem¬ 
ber issue. Sandy Gennaro's "Your First 
Big Break" was great. We're talking one 
of the best! I really dig Sandy's honesty. 
That advice was really special, and true for 
that matter. Everyone can be what they 
wish to be as long as they believe in them¬ 
selves. Sandy couldn't have said it better! 

Marc Vellek 
Scotland, SD 

I received your September issue, and feel it 
was one of the best in a few years. I want to 
thank Sandy Gennaro for a fine job with 
"Your First Big Break." Being 17, I really 
learned a lot from it. I also enjoy reading 
your newest ideas, including Setup Update 
and Listener's Guide. Keep it up! 

Mark Smoler 
Scottsdale, AZ 


We sometimes tend to be too hard to 
please, or easily dissatisfied with ourselves, 
with regard to our abilities or accomplish¬ 
ments. I know there have been times, after 
hours of practice, that I've come away 
thinking, "What's the point? I'm not 
going to reach the standard I'm aiming for 
in this lifetime!" After reading about Bob 
Pignatiello (On The Move, Aug. '84 MD), 
it brought home to me just how thankful I 
should be. It certainly takes a lot of guts 
and an amazing attitude toward life to 
carry on playing drums the way this young 
man has done. I take my hat off to Bob 

Colin Jamieson 
Pleisweiler, West Germany ^ 


EX-220-50 Uuslrotod in No-BA httbon Cyrnbob nol tnd 


Today s ROCK SHOW .a rewardmg e»Dorie«xe lot player P | 
ond audience The ifage setting A a wall a4 sound, a visual | j 
CAtro^ugcin ia ..u«kJ Pearl wonts to make sure t>w focus is on : i 
YOU 1 So high live with ICHIBAN 1 Pearl's ho* new graphic I 7 
design on our DEEP-FORCE Export Series gives you the I i 
POWER you need, the DURABILITY you demand, the SOUND | 
you exoect. and a new and exciting VISUAL IMPACT' Pearl j , 
puts il all together Don't miss out,..moke sure the locus isv j 
on YOU 1 i. 

Mr. v-dwBp JeKr f J 





Q. What did your set consist of on 
your most recent tour? What kind of 
snare did you use when recording 
Pyromania? I noticed you have some 
thin black lines on yourtoms; what are 
they and what is their purpose? 

David O'Neill 
Quincy, MA 

A. The set was all by Ludwig, and 
included 12" and 13" powertoms, 16" 
and 18" floor toms, a 6 1/2 x 14 Black 
Beauty Super Sensitive snare, and a 


Q. I recently had the pleasure of see¬ 
ing Journey in Saratoga Springs, New 
York. You were amazing, and your 
solo very impressive. My question is: 
What were the sizes of your drums 
and cymbals? 

David Fortin 
Latham, NY 

A. I use a large kit, with traditional size 
drums. For a year I tried the deep 
drums, but now I'm back to the old 
sizes, and I like them much better. On 
every record I've done, from the Jour¬ 
ney Captured album on (including 
Dream After Dream, Escape, Fron¬ 

16x22 bass drum. I also used a Sim¬ 
mons head for bits and pieces, trig¬ 
gered by the acoustic drums. My cym¬ 
bals were all by Paiste, and included 
16", 18", and 20" Rude crashes, a 20" 
2002 crash, a 22" 2002 power ride, a 
22" 2002 China type, and 14" dark 
Sound Edge hi-hats. I used the same 
snare when I recorded Pyromania. The 
thin black lines are strips of gaffer's 
tape to dampen the sound of the 

Q. What type of sticks and heads do 
you use? Also, did you use a Simmons 
drum on "Head Over Heels"? 

Steve Spencer 
Yorba Linda, CA 
A. Live, I use Slingerland SI parade 
sticks, Remo CS Black Dot heads on 
the toms and kick drum, and a coated 
Pinstripe on the snare. In the studio, I 
use Ambassadors on all the drums. 
On "Head Over Heels," the drums are 
all real; there's not a Simmons to be 
found anywhere on the album! (And 
the handclaps are real too!) 

tiers, the two Tom Coster albums and 
my two Vital Information albums), I've 
used the same set. It's a Sonor, oak 
veneer finish, with two 14x24 bass 
drums, 8x10, 8x12, 9x 13, and some¬ 
times 10x14 rack toms, and 16x 16 
and 16x18 floor toms. The only 
exception to this is side two of my new 
album Orion. I used an oak veneer set 
with a 14x20 bass drum, 8x12 and 
9x13 rack toms, and a 14x14 floor 
tom. For snare drums, I have three 
Paul Jamieson customized Radio 
Kings: two 7x 14's and one 5x 14. I 
also have a set of Simmons that I use 
with the Sonor drums. I change my 
cymbal sizes a lot, but currently I'm 
using two setups. All my cymbals are 
Zildjian. For Journey, I use 14" heavy 
hi-hats, 19" and 17" crashes, a 20" 
China Boy low, and a 10" splash—all 
As. For both setups I use a 22" K. 
heavy ride. For Vital Information I 
change the hi-hats to 14" K.s, and add 
a 20" A. heavy flat ride. I find that by 
changing to lighter cymbals and tun¬ 
ing the drums a bit higher, I can usu¬ 
ally use the same drums for rock or 


Q. Could you please outline the cym¬ 
bal setup you used to record "Round 
And Round" on the Out Of The Cellar 

Brian Drake 
Glendale, AZ 
A. From my left to my right, the setup I 
use includes the following cymbals, 
all Paiste Formula 2002's: 18" medium 
crash; 20" heavy crash; 16" medium 
crash; 22" medium crash; 22" heavy 
ride; and a 22" China type. ■+* 




Available now Colors by Paiste More than meets the ear 

460 Atlas St . Brea, CA 92621 

Photo by Ray Olson 

by Rick Mattingly 

/ 'suppose it's natural for a singer to 
receive more attention than a drum¬ 
mer. Still, I wasn't preparedfor the 
conversation I had with a PR man who 
was (briefly) representing Missing Per¬ 
sons during their last tour. 

"Hi, I'm from Modern Drummer 
magazine, and we need to arrange for 
photos to be taken of Terry Bozzio." 
"You mean Dale Bozzio, don't you?" 
"No, I mean Terry. I'm from Modern 

"Oh . . . right. " 

Actually, that type of conversation 
isn't all that uncommon around here. 
People often express amazement that 
anyone would be interested in a band's 
drummer, and in certain situations, lean 
understand their attitude. After all, in 
quite a few groups, the drummer does 
seem to be the one who just sits in the 
back at a concert and reproduces the dull 
thud on 2 and 4 that a Linn machine 
played on the record. 

But this is different. We’re talking 
about Terry Bozzio here. The guy Zappa 
wrote "The Black Page"for. The guy 
who played with such "musician's 
bands" as U.K. and the Brecker Broth¬ 
ers. The guy who, in addition to playing 
drums for Missing Persons, writes a great 
deal of their music and coproduces their 
records. The guy who designed and built 
his own electronic drumset. The guy who 
is one of the most visual drummers on the 
scene today. Surely Terry's identity is 
strong enough that he should receive as 
much attention as a singer—even one as 
flamboyant as Dale. 

But there's a paradoxical element 
about Terry's identity: It has an almost 
Jekyll & Hyde quality. On stage, he 
appears to be possessed by demons, as he 
attacks his drumset with an intensity that 
borders on violence, frequently snarling 
and leering at the audience—all in all, a 
rather dangerous-looking individual. 
And yet offstage, Terry comes across as 
one of the most affable and gracious peo¬ 
ple you'd ever want to meet. Speaking 
with him, one is apt to be struck by his 
intelligence and sophistication. He 
speaks with equal ease about rock, jazz 
and classical music, and his conversation 
is sprinkled with references to art and 

The point of all of this is that Terry 
Bozzio certainly does have an identity, 
but one that's made up ofcontrasting ele¬ 
ments. To understand him, you have to 
know about all of the different parts that 
are combined—the intensity and the 
niceness; the chops and the sensitivity; 
the cynicism and the compassion; the 
sensuality and the spirituality. The outer 
shell may appear intimidating, but don't 
befooled: There's a very big heart inside. 

RM: Before you started Missing Persons, you were in several successful 
groups—Frank Zappa, UK, The Brecker Brothers. All kinds of people 
have left prominent bands to start groups of their own, and were never 
heard from again. Did it scare you at first? 

TB: Yeah, it did at first, I suppose, but I knew I had to make my own 
statement or go on for the rest of my life depending on someone else to be 
the creative genius. I didn't want to live with myself that way. I really 
wanted to try to make it happen. It's funny; in the early days we thought 
that we could get a record deal in six weeks, because of who we had been 
with and because of the few people we knew in the industry. We thought, 
"Hey, we're writing these great songs, we played with Zappa and UK, and 
we'll have no problems." Little did we know that it was the beginning of 
the serious crunch in the music industry, and people who we were giving 
tapes to one week were literally no longer there the next week when we 
went back to see how they liked them. No one had any money. No one was 
willing to take a risk on anything new. The whole musical taste of America 
was in an upheaval. No one knew how it was really going to turn out. 

It was a very difficult time, and yet that was one of the most beneficial 
situations that we could have been in, because we had to go out and make it 
happen on our own. We started taking control. We realized that, if we 
didn't do things ourselves, they weren't going to get done. We ceased 
looking for a father figure in the guise of a manager or record company 
who would come along and say, "You're good little kids, and you have 
good little ideas. We’ll fill in all the blanks and turn you into the stars you 
think you can be." Record companies don't have that kind of imagination. 
So wejust worked from scratch. We found an alternative that was valid 
enough to allow us to compete with the groups who have the whole music 
industry machine behind them, and all kinds of money and 
behind-the-scenes talent helping them develop their careers. 

That's basically what we did for ourselves. We pressed up our own EP, 
released it through a tipsheet called Album Network, and took out a little 
ad. It was played on 22 stations nationwide, and went to Number One on 
three of them. The end result was that we sold 10,000 copies, and from 
there we started to play around town to promote the record. We went from 
playing 40 seats at the Valley West to selling out the Santa Monica Civic, 
which is 4,000 seats, without a record company. We did it all on our 
own—putting up the little posters, lugging in the equipment ourselves, and 
covering the stage in plastic. I was designing little neon florescent 
sculptures to decorate the stage. Dale was designing the outfits. Warren 
was playing his little non-existent guitar, which had a body made out of a 
Vox Cry Baby wah-wah pedal! The dimensions were approximately 
4" x 8", and it looked essentially like a guitar neck with no body! I was 
playing Roto Toms and sticking the drums all the way up front like a lead 
guitarist would. All these things started to pay off. We developed a huge 
following and basically created a situation that couldn't be ignored by the 
record companies. It gave them a feeling that the band was going to 
happen whether they were going to be involved in it or not. So then they 
signed us and the rest is history. 

In the spring of 1982, we recorded Spring Session M. We released it in 
the fall of '82, and toured all through the beginning of '83. Then we took 
the latter part of '83 off to relinquish ourselves from any managerial and 
production situations we had prior to this. We've now taken complete 
control of the band. Dale is acting as spokesperson and manager of the 
band. I, along with Missing Persons, produced Rhyme & Reason with 
Bruce Swedien, who engineered Michael Jackson's Thriller album. 
Basically, we've taken everything under our own wing and gone for it from 
there. I think the result has been great. It's, once again, a real growing 
experience where we've expanded and kind of blossomed into a multimedia 
entity rather than a rock band of individual musicians. 

RM: How much time are we talking about from when you quit UK and 
started Missing Persons, to the time when you got your record deal with 

TB: About two years. 

RM: You've been quoted frequently as saying that one of the things you 
learned from Zappa is that you've got to get up every day and hit it. Two 
years is a lot of days to get up and hit it. Did you ever wake up any of those 
days and think, "It sure would be easy to get back in a band and be paid a 
salary again"? Did you ever have a doubt? 

TB: Never that kind of a doubt. There were definitely days when I got up 
and was very depressed, after having been rejected by several record 



companies, and maybe feeling the backlash of people I had played with 
before who didn't really understand the direction I was going in with Miss¬ 
ing Persons. They didn't understand that, just because I had played certain 
kinds of music in the past, those types of music weren't necessarily what I 
was all about, and when it came time for me to write some music, I wouldn't 
copy the Brecker Brothers, or UK, or Frank Zappa. Those things can make 
one depressed at times, but that's when you learn to pick yourself up and just 
"give again," as the song says. A lot of our songs are autobiographical. 
They're the realism of Missing Persons—the 
following of dreams; the journey and adven¬ 
ture that your dreams take you on; the giv¬ 
ing of yourself over and over again just to be 
able to have the opportunity to give more, 
because that's really all that success is. It 
enables you to keep doing what you're 

Yeah, there were days; there were a lot of 
days when it was really rough. What can you 
do? You just get up and try to move on. You 
have to think positively. It would have been 
easy to go with a band. I had offers from 
Jethro Tull, from Eddie Jobson, who wanted to continue with UK, George 
Duke & Stanley Clarke, and all kinds of bands. 

RM: Didn't Zappa offer? 

TB: Yeah, Frank even offered to take me back, and Warren as well. Within 
weeks after we formed the band, Frank called Warren and said, "I'm going 
out on the road. Come down to rehearsal." Warren was completely shocked 
because we really hadn't made the transition of being a band yet. Warren 
went down to that rehearsal, but he realized he didn't belong there. He 
belonged with us. There's a fantastic chemistry between myself, Warren, 
and Dale, and Patrick and Chuck as well. We stuck it out. We knew that, if 
we made the stand, it would pay off in the long run. What have you got to 


gain by just continuing on? I had already probably gone 
as far as I could go being a drummer with UK, or having 
lan Anderson want me, as much as I respect him, and 
George Duke & Stanley Clarke, who from my earlier jazz 
influences were always heroes to me. When those guys 
call up and say, "Come out on the road," or something, 
of course you feel a twinge of doubt, but it's the satisfac¬ 
tion of saying, "This is mine. Nobody is responsible for 
this but me. If you don't like it, talk to me. If you do like 
it, talk to me." You can't exchange that for anything. 

It's just positive thinking. You have to keep projecting 
that you will be there. Whatever you dwell on long 
enough, use your powers of concentration on, dedicate 
yourself to and persist at, you will bring to fruition. I 
suppose it's a holdover from the early days when I prac¬ 
ticed. There was nobody twisting my arm to practice six 
to eight hours a day. I just did it because that's what I 
wanted. I was very inspired by the likes of very spiritual 
musicians like John Coltrane, and the dedication and dis¬ 
cipline that they showed to their art. It doesn't always 
have to be as narrow as just playing the drums or devel¬ 
oping stick control technique and things like that. You 
can take that same attitude and diversify. That's really 
what's happening with Missing Persons. It's sort of a 
renaissance — an omni-directional expansion in all kinds 
of different avenues with art, drawing, designing, and 
now inventing a new drumset, and all these other 
things—songwriting, composition, lyricism. 

RM: You're definitely more than just the drummer in the 

TB: But you know, it all gets down to what I am as a 
person, or what I believe in, or whatever spiritual entity is 
working through me and allows me to be the vehicle that 
these things come out of. It just comes down to the fact 
that, if I believe it, I can make it happen. There's defin¬ 
itely a power to tap into there, and anyone can really do it 
who believes in it. 

RM:A lot of people hear things like that and try it for a 
little while, but then they run into days of discourage¬ 
ment. At that point, if you've got a viable alternative like 
a good gig that somebody else is offering, it's too easy to 
go with that and not follow your own thing. 

TB: I m very lucky to have Warren and Dale, because 
Dale is a virtual fount of this kind of positive energy and 
Warren is great too. I lean on them and they lean on me. 
We hold each other up through these kinds of times and 
build each other up. 

Life is a rollercoaster—my mother sent me 
an article about that one time—and any artist 
lives on that rollercoaster. You just have to 
remember that when you're going down, all 
that momentum is going to send you back up 
to the next dizzying height. That's just the 
way it is. There are always going to be ups and 
downs, but if you keep plugging, you'll get 

RM: I guess the reason I'm bringing this up is 
that, from a distance, your life has had sort of 
a fairy-tale quality. Some people could look at 
that and just see the surface things. 

TB: Oh, they do. 

RM:Fresh-faced kid comes from San Francisco, wins the 
Zappa audition, makes records with Zappa and the 
Brecker Brothers, replaces Bill Bruford in UK, starts his 
own band, makes more records, has videos on MTV 

TB: Just like falling down steps. 

RM: I guess I'm curious about the aspects of your career 
that weren't on view. 

TB: Definitely a lot of work went into it—a lot of work. 

The responsibility we take on is not what your normal 
band takes on—being responsible for the production, 
every little part, every little arrangement. I write 60% of 
the music, the lyrics, the arrangements, almost all of the 
keyboard parts and a lot of the guitar parts. This kind of 
responsibility deepens one. You have to face those kinds of 
problems if you really want to be responsible for what your 
end result is going to be, right down to the lyrics and the 
effect. Whether we want to or not, we're having a huge 
effect on people and we are influencing them. Therefore, 
we feel this responsibility to make sure that the little hook 
line they're singing over and over in their heads and are 
being subliminally brainwashed by is something that is 
realism at its best. It should not lead them on any fairy 
tales. Instead, it should help them in life. We don't want to 
preach or lay any trips on anyone. It's still basically about 
entertainment, fun and self-expression, but if you read the 
lyrics, you know they can help you. 

RM: They're very positive. 

TB: It's a very positive approach. 

RM: And yet, you're not just viewing the world through 
rose-colored glasses, either. Take "Words,” forexample, 
which says that nobody listens anymore. 

TB: That was just an obvious cynicism that most people 
can relate to. Somewhere along the line, they're going to 
run into that and they're going to be able to relate that to 
their own life experience. That's another thing, too: A lot 
of the songs are really designed to relate on multiple levels 
to one's individual experiences. There are kinds of blanks 
written into the music that listeners can fill in with their 
imaginations—that they can relate to on their own per¬ 
sonal level which we hadn't thought of. For instance, 
"Destination Unknown" became an anti-nuclear theme 1 
song in Australia. That's the last thing we thought of when o 
we wrote that song. We had these radio stations calling us | 
and saying, "These marchers are demonstrating against » 
nuclear power plants and the nuclear bomb, and they're | 
using your song." They related heavily to "Destination £ 

Unknown." We had just written it on a spiritual, personal, daily life basis 
of not knowing what's around the next corner. 

Any song I write takes on a whole new meaning when the band takes it 
out of my mind and it becomes something that's actually realized by the 
band. It can then turn into something that's much farther along than what 
I had originally intended. It can just quadruple and turn into a great and 
wonderful thing. I once got a fan letter saying, "This song has helped me. I 
was going to commit suicide." Indirectly we possibly saved somebody's 
life by just putting out this one little positive thought and it snowballed. 
Anything can happen. That goes for preparing you for the tough days too, 
because things can go wrong as well. You have to have the strength of your 
convictions to deal with those days. 

RM: It must be very sobering to hear that your song saved someone's life. 
TB: Yeah, it was pretty interesting. I was just happy. That is a pretty sober 
thought, but that was just one in a million letters—all kinds of people read 
in many wonderful things to what we've done. 

RM: Have you ever experienced the other side to that—somebody totally 
misinterpreting what you've done? 

TB: I think a lot of people have been very superficial in their view of us. 
They can't get past Dale's blond hair and Plexiglas fishbowl tops. That's 
ridiculous. All of my musician followers know what's going on. They hear 
the intricacies in the music and they know the depth, because they're a little 
bit more sensitive. I think, in general, that our audience is pretty intelli¬ 
gent. They're intuitive enough to know that this is not just image without 
substance. There is depth: some great musicians, great playing, great 
recordings, great sound, great projection, wonderful imagery, and very 
artistic, free self-expression. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't look 
deep enough. They aren't willing to take the extra step or make the extra 
effort to see what's going on here. Maybe that's because the first few songs 
that gathered attention, like "I Like Boys," "Mental Hopscotch," 
"Walking In L.A."—songs like that—were pretty tongue-in-cheek. They 
weren’t meant to be taken seriously. There was no big statement there. 
They were entertainment. Maybe they didn't read the lyrics on "U.S. 
Drag" or see some of the more meaningful lyrical statements that were on 
our first album. But it seems that a lot of critics really like Rhyme & Rea¬ 
son. They realize we are trying to do something. We are coming from a 
good space and trying to stand for something good that doesn't sacrifice 
strength. We're not really trying to preach or lay any heavy trips on any¬ 
one, but there's something there that you can believe in and sink your teeth 

RM: Have you become more conscious of your position as one who influ¬ 
ences youth? 

TB: Yeah, obviously, after having kids turn up at the shows dressing like us 
and imitating us, and even seeing bands that are now coming up in the 
wake of Missing Persons that have last year's Missing Persons' hairdos, 
and who cop a lot of little motifs that we used in our videos, or tactics that 
we used in the early days—you know, plastic and florescent lights. There 
are millions of things. One realizes that, whether you want to or not, you 
are having an effect on someone, so you better speak from your heart and 
make sure that what you say is true, or else it's going to go awry. 

RM: Zappa is sometimes criticized for the kind of influence he might have on young 
people, due to some of his language and the subject matter of some of the songs. You 
were a part of all of that. Do you have any reflections on it? 

TB: I think that Frank is misconceived by a lot of people. I think one should first 
achieve the age of reason before experiencing Frank's music. I just see it as incredibly 
humorous. But then, he says a lot of truthful, heavy things that need to be said. A lot 
of it's not to certain people's tastes; maybe it's a little too risque, or a little too gross, 
or a little too true! Personally, I love Frank. I know him a little bit better than the 
average person on the street, and I know 
he's really a great person in his heart. He's 
got a lot of strength and a lot of wisdom. 

He's very intelligent. He's helped me and a 
lot of other people with their lives. I'm cer¬ 
tainly no one to speak for Frank Zappa; he 
can speak for himself. I'm not ashamed of 
anything I have done with him. It was what 
he wanted and what I was paid to do. In that 
respect, the role I was playing was more that 
of an actor and a player—an orchestra mem¬ 
ber. He would throw composed music at me 

and I would play that music note for note, or a lot of times, he would give me space to 
contribute my little creative efforts to the whole. I'm grateful for that experience. 
Realistically, it was not my self-expression. Obviously, that has come to light now that 
I'm in Missing Persons and I'm doing what is 100% mine. It is completely different 
from what Frank would say or do. That's where one gets into the individualistic 
properties of human beings on this planet. We're all different. We all have our little 
expression. It's all beautiful; it's all valid. 

RM: I respect Zappa a lot, but sometimes I've looked around at the audience at his 
concerts, and I've wondered if some of these kids are taking certain things too seri¬ 
ously. I've also wondered about the ones who show up completely wrecked. 

TB: You can't be completely responsible for the effect that you are going to have on 
someone. There are people who are superficial—who cannot see through the glaze of 
the rock 'n' roll image and persona, and all that folklore. They think that what it's all 


about is to get high and jam. That is not what 
it's about. That's not how you get anywhere. 
They have no idea about that. That's why I'm 
so candid in my interviews. I tell everybody 
exactly what we've done to get from point X to 
point Y to point Z. It's not because I think they 
should do that; believe me, there are a million 
ways to achieve the same end and you have to 
find your own way. It's just that a lot of people 
in the rock audience do not have a clue as to 
what's really going on. They're just content to 
get high and go to a concert, and not see past the 
light show, someone shaking his fist in the air, 
and the amount of decibels. All those things are 
well and good. They're all part of it, but that's 
not all there is to life. There are a lot more 
important things. 

I think Frank has always been very misunder¬ 
stood in that direction. He's a guy who has 
never taken a drug in his life, hardly drinks a 
drop, and he's the most serious workaholic and 
genius that I've ever had the experience of meet¬ 
ing. He's really done wonderful things in his 
life—writing scores, being commissioned by 
the Paris Chamber Symphony Orchestra con¬ 
ducted by Pierre Boulez. That's a serious 
achievement, let alone the 50-million albums 
he's done, how great a guitar player he is, what 
a wonderful family man he is, and everything 
else. He's a real achiever. People don't know 
that. They see the imagery. They get caught up 
in the entertainment and they take that at face 
value, rather than looking a little bit deeper, 

continued on page 58 

drum parts 

clandestine people ■ by Terry Bozzio 

This is an example of a song in which the drum melodies came first. The 
guitar line and other parts were constructed around the drum beats, and 
then the lyrics (from a previously completed poem) were added last. 




J = 176 





0 - +—0 0 - 0 - 

J =176 LH , Verse 


r - t r 


S 0 Rim ~"x yi 2 
T T flimX. 

T T Him pi 
T T flimJT 

x “ " sj sj — “ — “ — 




- j4 h- 

r r r r 


This beat was constructed to loosely imitate the rhythmic guitar line that Warren Cuc- 
curullo wrote and plays in this song. The guitar plays through a digital delay which is set 
to play 16th notes to fill in the space between rhythms. My kick/snare/hi-hat pattern 
complements that. 

J = 100 £r c > > > _ 

HH X _ „ _ ^ - X, _> X _ >> X X _ X _>_ X X 


This drum part came from a jam that Warren and I used to audition synth and bass 
players with because of its rhythmic complexity. Later, it became "Racing Against 

J = 168 > > 


H H Ci Cym 

O v 


jh x x X X X X X X X X 

m ur ur 



continued on page 69 

Photo by Lissa Wales 

~W"W FEATHER Report reaches the part in "D Waltz" where 
1 / 1 / they bring it down real low. The drummer is smoothly 
V r and effortlessly executing a feather-light roll pattern 
between the hi-hat and snare, catching all the synth and sax accents 
with his kick. In the expectant hush, someone in the crowd yells, 
"Ommaaarrr!" A moment later the drummer slams a resounding 
fill and the band heats up for a wildfinish. Both of the drummer's 
long, gangly arms rise high over his rack of toms, the left crashing 
with equalfervor to the right. His head swings up and down, nod¬ 
ding a big "Yeah." 

As Weather Report leader Joe Zawinul told Keyboard magazine 
in March '84, it was getting perilously close to the start of a tour in 
1982 when he calledjazz violinist Michael Urbaniak in New York, 
asking about musicians to fill the spots vacated by Peter Erskine 
and Jaco Pastorius. Urbaniak was lavish in his praise of Omar 

Says Zawinul, "I got in touch with Omar, and at that lime he 
had a deal coming up with Warner Brothers to do his own record. 
He sings and plays all the instruments and wanted to do his own 
thing, so he wasn't sure if he could make it. The time for the tour 
grew closer and closer, andfinally he said he would do it. We had 
nevermet, but I asked him to find a percussionist and a bassplayer. 
We trusted Omar to bring the right musicians." 

The then 23-year-old drummer, a nonsmoking, nondrinking 
vegetarian, recruited his friends, bassist Victor Bailey and percus¬ 
sionist Jose Rossy. Zawinul's trust paid off. "In 1983 we did 86 
concerts with this band, and it really developed into something 
else," Zawinul told Keyboard. "In my opinion this is the best all- 
around band we have had. We can play anything and everything. 
Everybody is excited and everybody is trying to learn. Wayne 
[ Shorter] is playing twice as good as he's ever played and I'm doing 
my best to improve myself. It's an incredible little ensemble." 

Hakim's visibility has certainly increased since taking the 
Weather Report gig, but his reputation was already blooming prior 
to that. He had come up through New York's "Fame-ous" Music 
and Arts High School, and had already been working with the likes 
ofMikeMainieri, Gil Evans, Carly Simon, Labelle, Melba Moore, 
Kazumi Watanabe and Tom Browne. He recorded David San¬ 
born's As We Speak album and did overdubs on Kenny G.'s G 
Force. He contributed his talent andfeel to two of the year's truly 
smoking dance grooves, David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and 
"Modern Love." "Being With You," which he wrote for George 
Benson's In Your Eyes album, won a Best Pop Instrumental 
Grammy. He recorded an album with high school classmate (gui¬ 
tarist) Bobby Broom, sparking their version of Dizzy Gillespie's 
"Con Alma" with fluid, dynamic soloing. Hakim plays with the 
feel of a jazz veteran, not altogether surprising considering he's 
been playing drums for nearly 20 of his 25 years. 

Omarjustfinished tracking David Bowie's new album in Mon¬ 
treal, with Hugh Padgham [The Police, Phil Collins] engineering. 
"The drum sound is beautiful," says Hakim. "I used a Ludwig 
Super 400 chrome snare that you could hear three rooms away." 
Hakim will be starting work on the next Weather Report album 
soon, and hopes to be putting some serious work in on his own solo 
record this year. "I like this idea of being where people don't 
expect you to be," smiles Hakim. "I think it's so much fun. It 
shatters barriers. I dig that." 

RT: On David Bowie's Let's Dance album you are working with 
Nile Rodgers as a producer. 

OH: I' ve known Nile Rodgers for about eight years. We had a 
band called Brown Sugar that played at Great Adventure amuse¬ 
ment park. We had three ladies up front singing, Nile on guitar, 
myself on drums, a keyboard player named Denzil Miller, who 
now plays with Lenny White, and the bass player's name was Rick 
Tell—not to be confused with the guy who shot apples off the top 
of people's heads. Who was that, William Tell? Corny joke, oh 

well . . . [laughs] Yeah, Nile had asked me to join him and 
Bernard Edwards when they were putting this band together. Chic. 
I was going to high school, so I didn't join the band. I must have 
been 16. Carmine [Rojas, the bassist on Let's Dance] was playing 
with Labelle when I met him. When the drummer Tony Thompson 
went to join Chic, I took his place in Labelle, and I met Carmine. 
So it's all connected; we all know each other. 

RT: I understand that you started playing when you were very 

OH: Yeah, I started playing when I was around six years old or so. 
RT: Just the basic pots and pans? 

OH: Yeah, I did the pots and pans until the Ludwigs came along. 
But I kept getting gifts, you know. An uncle from down South or 
somebody would give me a drum with a paper drumhead on it. 
There are some pictures of me holding up drums at a very young 

RT: When did you do your first gig? 

OH: I was nine years old and I was playing with my father's band, 
called the Nomads. It was a jazz thing—playing standards. I was 
first into playing jazz with my pop, and I was always listening to all 
the other stuff. My father was always playing records by 'Trane 
and Miles around the house. And he knew these people. I remem¬ 
ber going to John Coltrane's house when I was a child and sitting in 
his living room. His daughter used to babysit for me. My father. 



by Robin Tolleson 

Hassan, was pretty active in music. I don't really know why he 
didn't pursue it—if it was because me and my brother came along, 
or whether it just got hard. Back then it was different. He had been 
playing with Duke Ellington and Count Basie, but club owners at 
that time weren't ready to have a lot of Muslim bandleaders. A lot 
of the musicians at the time were taking these names back. People 
weren’t ready to deal with that whole religious-pride kind of thing. 
RT: Were you born "Omar Hakim"? 

OH: Yeah, that's me from day one. 

RT: Have you ever encountered any problems about your name? 
OH: Nah. The kids teased me when I was young, but lately I get 
more compliments. People like the name. It's not uncommon now 
to meet people with international-sounding names. I think people 
are more surprised that I was born with the name. My parents had 
converted to Islam after they were married. I'm not what you 
would call a true, pray-five-times-a-day Moslem. I deviated from 
that and started studying a lot of other paths. My parents never 
forced anything on me. They're definitely what I would call "jazz 
parents." They never said, "Hey, don't do that." It was, "If you 
see something, go for it." And I think that was a great help to me as 
far as playing music is concerned. 

I did a lot of different kinds of gigs in New York. I wouldn't say 
no to a gig—anything from a bar mitzvah to an after-hours club at 



Photo by Very! Oakland 

six o'clock in the morning. Then 1 would go to school, and play 
with the orchestra or the marching band. 

RT: The school you went to sounds a lot like Fame high school. 
OH: Well, that movie was based on that particular high school— 
Music and Arts High School. 

RT: So you are the Fame drummer. 

OH: Get out of here! [laughs] I graduated the year before they 
started filming the movie. A lot of the people that were in Fame 
were from the Gospel choir of the High School of Music and Arts. 
Marcus Miller and I used to play for the Gospel choir. We'd get to 
rehearsal early and jam. Marcus and I would be playing some funk 
groove, all the kids would be dancing, and then the teachers would 
come in and say, "Alright, cut, cut!" It was a great environment 
for playing. There were composition and theory classes, the jazz 
band, the concert band, orchestra and Gospel choir. And then we 
would give these little shows on the side. Everybody was into it. We 
would get the auditorium at school on a certain day and do a con¬ 

RT: Did your name get around because of the bands you were 
playing with at school? 

OH: Well, I had been gigging since I was about nine. By the time I 
was 11 or 12, I think a lot of people began hearing about the kid in 
Queens, doing gigs on drums. And then I started to do a lot of funk 
and rock gigs with local bands. That snowballed into club gigs 
downtown with a man named Weldon Irvine. When I was in high 

school, I started getting a lot of gigs downtown in the clubs. 

Photo by Mark Brady 

RT: Do you have any idea why you ended up on drums? 

OH: I tried different things. I was torn between the bass and 
drums. But the low F on the bass was too far for me to reach at the 
age of ten. So the drums were a lot easier, [laughs] It seemed more 
natural. When I sit behind a drumset, I feel comfortable. I goof 
around with piano and guitar. I think it helps your drumming to 
experience another instrument. When you go back to your main 
axe, it helps. 

RT: Can you remember who your early influences were on the 

OH: Of course, man. Art Blakey, Max, Buddy Rich— West Side 
Story killed me—and those albums that Elvin did with 'Trane. 

RT: What was it about those jazz players that you loved? 

OH: What used to kill me about Art Blakey was that press roll that 
he did. He would build it up—"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt Crash!" That 
used to knock me out. I liked his power, his rawness, and the feel¬ 
ing. His sock cymbal on those records knocked me out. It would 
just cut through everything, and the time was so solid. Also, I dug 
Elvin's rawness and emotion. He's a real emotional player. Later 
on, in high school, I started listening to Philly Joe Jones records, 
and he played some stuff that knocked me out. 

RT: Something about your style reminds me of A1 Foster, Miles' 
drummer. I guess it's the smoothness that you both have. 

OH: He does have that smoothness and finesse. I dig it. I admire all 
these cats. I can't really say who my favorite drummer is, because 
I've spent time and listened to everybody. You asked about early 
influences and I named Elvin, Max, Buddy Rich, Philly Joe, and 
Art Blakey. I listened to all those guys and I can't say that I dug one 
more than the other, because they all gave me something I 
really admired. Then when I got older, Billy Cobham came along 
and turned my head totally around. And then I heard Lenny White 
and he flipped me out. Now I'm admiring the stuff that Stewart 
Copeland is doing with The Police. I like the feeling. I listen to A1 
Foster, and I've been listening to Terry Bozzio. I've also been lis¬ 
tening to Steve Smith's work with Journey and his solo album. 
What I like is that he plays parts and you can hear them. He's 
composing parts. There was a tune on one of Journey's albums 
where there was one pattern that really knocked me out; it was with 
the bell of the cymbal and the tom. You could hear the part.He' s 
listening. You've got to listen, and keep your ears open. I think 
that keeps you young—keeps you open. I mean, look at Joe and 
Wayne. They've been listening; they've been associating. 

[Bowie's "Modern Love" comes on the radio, kicked off by 
Hakim's strong drum groove in 6/4 time.] 

I know that record! It was fun doing this one, man. You know 
it's going to be a take when you hear it in the headphones while 
you're playing, and you're going, "Shit, this sounds good." You 
just know, because of the feeling in the studio. What I like about 
this is that the beat is so simple but it keeps moving ahead. 

RT: Who was playing with you when you recorded it? 

OH: Me, Nile, Rob Sabino, and Carmine. We were tracking live, 
and David was singing. 

RT: How did you come up with the "Modern Love" beat? 

OH: Nile said that we needed an intro in 6/4, and he wanted that 
dance feeling. He counted off the tempo, I just played, and that 
was what was nice about the session. They let us go—you know, 

I've been involved with a lot of different types of music, and I 
think that helps me avoid being typecast. I don't want people to 
say, "Oh, he's a jazz drummer. Oh, he's a rock drummer. He's a 
funk drummer, but he plays in Weather Report." I just believe 
that a musician should play music. There's a slight attitude change 
between the types of music, but once you're able to listen to differ¬ 
ent music and identify the things in that music that make it what it 
is, then you can go for that feeling and still be yourself, no matter 
what it is. So I don't feel any more restricted playing Bowie's music 


Photo by Joost Leijen 

toured Europe with Gil. It was one of the hardest tours I've done, 
but one of the most musically rewarding tours. It was actually a 
perfect gig for me to do before I joined Weather Report, because 
Gil’s music is so open and so out. It's structured and it's not. It was 
a total freak out for me sometimes. Hiram Bullock gave me a great 
bit of advice. I would always ask Gil, "Well, what groove do you 
want on this?" Hiram pulled me to the side and said, "Look, he 
hired you because of the way you play, so be yourself. That's why 
you’re here. If he didn’t want you to play your stuff, he wouldn't 
have hired you." So that stuck with me. You know, some people 
give you a landmark line. That was one. Wherever you go, do your 
thing. They asked you to be there because of what you'll contrib¬ 
ute—your personality. So every night after that I was going for it. 
And I was able to bring that attitude to Weather Report, and every 
gig that I did after that. 

I had confidence before, but playing with Gil and having every¬ 
thing so open ... It was a little scary to me at first, but that's part 
of being a musician, I guess. In this interview Gil did, he said some¬ 
thing to the effect that by leaving everything open, he counts on the 

Photo by Very! Oakland continued on page 80 

than I feel playing with Joe and Wayne. 1 think you can lend som< 
fun, some art and some feeling to the music wherever you go. 

When I was in Europe, people thought that I was David Bowie's 
drummer. They didn’t even know I was playing with Weather 
Report. Maybe the Procession album had just come out. So th< 
Bowie record sort of reached another audience for me. I'm reall; 
happy for it. And then there's even talk of a Mick Jagger record 
somebody called me the other day. So I'm into it. I think it's great 
It might lead to more projects where I can take a creative kind ol 
energy there. Then somebody called me for a Chico Freeman ses 
sion, which is like the total opposite. I don't know if either one ol 
those sessions will happen, but it's interesting to look at the call: 
I'm getting. I'm really happy about it. I just try to take a gooc 
feeling to whatever session it is. I did some tracks for Melbt 
Moore, then I turned around to do some tracks for a funk bass 
player from Washington, D.C., who had a record out called "The 
Smurf." I do all kinds of dates, but I have fun at every one of 
them. I figure that you can learn all this music, you can learn how 
to read, you can learn how to do all the rudiments, you can learn all 
this, but it doesn't mean a thing if you can't make any music. For 
the sake of music you really have to let that stuff go, and call on it 
only to speak through your instrument. It's like you learn words, 
not to be conscious of the fact that you have this giant vocabulary, 
but so you can call on it to relay a feeling to somebody. That's what 
those things that you practice are for. So I think you should learn 
them and then put them away. Just let them come out when you're 
playing. Don't worry about whether you're playing a double or a 
triple ratamacue. 

RT: By the way, is that what you’re doing on the hi-hat on "D 

OH: I don't know. It's something with the left hand, because I'm 
also playing the snare drum in there. But I don't know. See, that's 
what 1 mean about those tricks. When you're involved with the 
expression of the music, you’re not really thinking about what 
you're using. It's nice to have technique, because it will enable you 
to say things more clearly and enable them to come out easier. So 
you can call on it to squeeze those ideas out. If you're hearing a 
certain pattern on the hi-hat, you don’t have to say, "How am I 
going to do that?" You can just sort of put yourself out there on 
the limb, and if it happens, great. 

Lately I've been trying to open up my heart on the drumset when 
1 sit down. Seriously, I don't know what's going to happen on the 
gig with Weather Report. To me, it's like I'm going to the gig with 
the audience. It's going to be just as much of an experience for me 
as it is for you. Maybe that's a good attitude, because I'm just 
going to go there and speak to the audience. That's how I've been 
trying to approach it—just sit down and really speak, play, laugh 
and cry for them, and have some fun. Jazz has been taken so seri¬ 
ously. Everybody comes on stage with their eyebrows pointed 
down, and everybody acts like "I'm going to play my ass off 
tonight." Who cares? You can make music and still be light, and 
still have that feeling. Narada Michael Walden did that. He was 
giving so much. People slept on Narada and what he was doing, as 
far as I'm concerned. He sort of went by unnoticed because he 
played with energy and love for the music, but he wasn't really 
concerned with chops, even though he had the most amazing 
chops. He would bleed for the music. I've experienced music that 
way too, where I've cracked my knuckles on the drumset and 
didn’t know it. There was blood everywhere but I was so into the 
music I didn't know what happened. But you know, when you 
really get absorbed in it ... 

RT: Sort of like athletes playing with pain. 

OH: Yeah, and you sort of rise above it. You don't feel tired. You 
might play two hours, and those two hours go by like a flash. 

RT: Didn't you tour with Gil Evans' big band? 

OH: 1 did that in '81. The year before 1 joined Weather Report, I 


Hickory boards are stacked for drying in the 
huge dry kiln. 

After drying, the hoards arc run through a 
multi-bladed "gang saw" to trim them into 
approximately 2" x2" strips. 

The strips are run through the doweling 

The long dowels are cut to lathing lengths, and 
sections with flaws are cut out. 


HE first impression you get when 
you walk into the office of the J.D. 
Calato Manufacturing Company in 
Niagara Falls, New York, is that this is a 
family business. That's not surprising, 
considering that the son and daughters of 
founder and president Joe D. Calato are 
the executives of the company. But the 
impression goes further as you walk 
through the production area and meet the 
employees. Joe Calato introduces each one 
by name, and only half-jokingly says 
"This is another cousin" or "Here's 
another member of the family ..." Most 
of the current employees have weathered a 
major strike with the Calato family, and 
are members of a very legitimate relation¬ 
ship, even if they aren't actually relatives. 
But the final means by which this "family" 
impression is obtained is the way in which 
Joe Calato talks about the machinery he 
and his designers have created to produce 
his products. Many of those machines are 
absolutely unique, and Joe speaks of them 
with the pride one might expect a father to 
display about his children. 

So even though there is a high-technol¬ 
ogy, state-of-the-art aspect to the Calato 
operation, you almost have the feeling of 
visiting someone's home, rather than a 
major drumstick and accessory factory. 
And this feeling is underscored by Joe's 
statement that he "doesn't have an 
office." He spends his time walking 
around the factory floor, or in his own 
favorite part of the building, the Research 
& Development machine shop, where all 
the manufacturing equipment is designed 
and maintained, and where prototypesfor 
new products are created and tested. 
According to Joe, this is the heart of the 
whole operation. And heart is a major 
ingredient in the Calato/Regal Tip line of 
products. MD's visit to the Calato factory 
included a discussion with Joe D. Calato 
(president), son Joe S. Calato (vice presi¬ 
dent), daughters Carol Calato Simon (Sec¬ 
retary) and Cathy Calato (Financial Secre¬ 
tary), and also with John Beck, noted 
classical percussionist and teacher, who 
recently became an endorser/advisor to 
the Calato company. 

RVH: Joe, besides being a drummer, your 
background was also as a woodworker, 

JDC: Cabinetmaker, patternmaker, 
jigmaker—always with wood. 

RVH: What made you combine those 
skills and start making drumsticks? 

JDC: If you go back 25 or 30 years ago, I 
don't believe there were good drumsticks 
made. I'd go to the music store and say, 
"My God, these sticks are terrible. I could 
make better drumsticks." I thought about 
that for years. You just couldn't buy good 
drumsticks. The last good drumsticks I 
held in my hand during that time were 

made by George Lawrence Stone, and they 
were good because he would pick the mate¬ 
rial out. 

RVH: But when you introduced Regal 
Tips, you added a completely new wrinkle. 
What prompted you to experiment with a 
nylon tip in the first place? 

JDC: Playing burlesque. I was working 
five or six nights a week, and the tips of 
wood sticks would start to fray or chip as 
soon as the lacquer had worn off. I was try¬ 
ing to devise a way to keep the tips in better 
shape longer. In those days, most drum¬ 
mers used to carry sandpaper with them, 
and as soon as the tip got soft, they'd sand 
it. Then they'd have a bottle of nail polish, 
dip the tip in that and let it dry, so the stick 
would sound good until it wore down 
again. I thought it would be a good idea to 
put something plastic on the tip so it would 
last longer. I cut a chunk out of a plastic 
screwdriver handle, shaped a tip from it, 
drilled a hole in it and stuck it on a stick. It 
didn't stay on, but the sound wasn't bad. I 
figured right away that it had some good 
points to it, so now the object was to keep 
it on the stick. Since then we've worked 
and worked on it, and we now have a proc¬ 
ess that makes fairly sure of the tips staying 

RVH: The first production literally took 
place in your basement, didn't it? 

JDC: Yes, and the whole house used to 
smell of the lacquer. 

RVH: Were you still hand-shaping the 

JDC: I hand made everything; I even made 
the machine that shaped the sticks. 

RVH: How did you get the word out about 
these new sticks? 

JDC: In 1958 I ran one ad in the Interna¬ 
tional Musician [the newspaper of the 
American Federation of Musicians], I ran 
an ad in one column, four inches long, and 
I offered the sticks for $1.95. I didn't even 
say what size stick it was, or what model. 
The mailman came in with sacks of mail 
just from that first ad, either with two dol¬ 
lar bills, or a check for $1.95. And I didn't 
really have any sticks in production yet! So 
I went downstairs and knocked out all 
7As; I didn't care what they ordered. I 
shipped them all 7As. I must have shipped 
thousands of them, and I never got one 
back, or received one complaint. 

RVH: You said that the first major prob¬ 
lem was keeping the tip on the stick. What 
did you do to overcome that? 

JDC: Let me just say this: I wasn't able to 
get a patent on a nylon-tipped drumstick, 
and I chased every penny I had trying to do 
it; attorneys were just eating me up. The 
Patent Office didn't define the stick as an 
invention, but rather as an idea, so that's 
why they didn't want to give me a patent 
on the stick. But they did want to give me a 
patent on the process for binding the tip 



onto the stick. And that I refused to take, 
because if I did, anybody who wanted to 
find out what I do to keep tips on could just 
go and find out for themselves by reading 
the patent documents, which are public 
record. I prefer to keep that a secret. 

RVH: Who helped you to develop and 
promote your sticks in the early days? 

JDC: Henry Adler, out of New York, who 
allowed me to stay in his store one day and 
just show my sticks to drummers who 
came through. Jim Chapin, Sonny Igoe 
and Joe Morello were influences. Maurie 
Lishon from Frank's Drum Shop in Chi¬ 
cago, Bob Yeager from the Professional 
Drum Shop in California, and Frank Ippo- 
lito in New York all helped out. 

RVH: Jake Hanna was such an instrumen¬ 
tal contributor to your early development 
that you named a stick model for him. Did 
Jake actually create the Jake Hanna 
model, or did you come up with one that he 

JDC: Jake was very influential in the popu¬ 
larity of our drumsticks, because when he 
was traveling with the Woody Herman 
band, he was showing the sticks all over the 
world. I could follow him around the 
world by the letters I got about the sticks. 

One day when we got things going—I think 
we had five models—we decided that 
maybe we ought to put a Jake Hanna 
model out. He used to like an old stick 
model called the Super Balance, and he 
said that if we could make a stick like that 
with his name on it, he'd be happy. So we 
did, and I think we went almost 25 years 
without putting another name on a stick. 

Of course, Saul Goodman was a big 
influence on our mallet development. 
Maurie Lishon introduced me to Saul at 
his condominium in Florida. I knew Saul’s 
reputation as a percussionist, so I jokingly 
said to him, "Mr. Goodman, I have some 
timpani mallets in my car, and I'd like to 
let you see them." At that time, we were 
making some very cheap drumset mallets; 
they no more resembled a good timpani 
mallet than the man in the moon, and I 
realized this. So I went out to the car, 
brought them in, gave them to Saul and 
said, "Great, aren't they?" He kept look¬ 
ing at them, trying to figure out how to tell 
me they stunk. He was getting ready to 
retire from the symphony and Juilliard, 
and he was looking for someone to manu¬ 
facture his timpani mallets. I disclosed to 
him that I had only been pulling his leg in 
regard to my mallets, and we came to the 
agreement that I would make his mallets 
for him. That's another example of a very 
good relationship that's gone on for many 
years now. And of course, Saul is very 
happy because we sell thousands and thou¬ 
sands of timpani mallets. 

RVH: You mentioned the owners of sev¬ 
eral big drum shops. Did most of the drum 

by Rick Van Horn 

shops get behind Regal Tips right away? 
JDC: Even the salesmen from the drum 
companies were behind my product. They 
felt it was a good product. At first I 
couldn't get anybody to take it simply 
because I couldn't afford to market it. So 
the drum company salesmen would push 
the sticks on the side as they were traveling 
through the country for all the major drum 
companies. They were great, and most of 
them have become good friends of mine. 

I had originally taken the stick to 
Gretsch, and they turned it down; then I 
took it to Grossman's, who had Rogers 
drums at the time, and they turned it 
down, so I decided to market it myself. 
That's when I took out the ad in Interna¬ 
tional Musician. 

RVH: How long did it take to get from 
your basement operation to the factory? 
JDC: About two years. I used to have a 
cabinet shop at this same location, but I 
went broke at that and was about to close it 
down. I had a small building in the front 
with some storage sheds in back. My son 
Joe used to come down and help me work 
out in the sheds. 

JOE S. CALATO: Child labor! 

RVH: You told me earlier that one of the 
primary reasons for the quality of your 
sticks is the selection of lumber. 

JDC:There's no doubt about that. 

RVH: Has discovering quality sources 
been a lengthy process over the years? 

JSC: Lengthy and expensive, and it's an 
ongoing process. We have to keep on it 
every day, on every load of lumber. 

JDC: We refused a load of lumber the 
other day, and found out later that instead 
of being returned to the source, it was 
shipped to another stick company for their 
use. But we wouldn't use it, because it sim¬ 
ply wasn't good enough for the quality 
that we try to maintain. I think that one of 
the biggest keys to maintaining quality is 
being able to reject a stick, and stand there 
and watch your money go down the drain. 
I'm talking about hundreds of thousands 
of rejects. 

RVH: I understand that part of the 
expense of the manufacturing process 
involves bringing the lumber up here to 
Niagara Falls. 

JDC: Right. Our lumber comes out of the 
hickory forests in the Appalachian region. 
RVH: Does that represent a significant 
portion of the cost of the stick to the con¬ 

JSC: No. It's just something we have to 
"eat." It's not going to change the price of 
our drumsticks. 

RVH: Would it be more economical to 
have your operation set up in the South, 
where the wood is? 

JDC: I don't believe you can make good 
drumsticks in the South, because there's 
too much humidity—unless you have con- 

The standard dowel lengths are lathed into the 
various stick models. 

Each stick is rotary-sanded. 

After sanding, the sticks are run down this 
machine, which stamps them with the appropri¬ 
ate logo, drills a small hole in the butt ends, and 
inserts a short nylon rod, for use in the lacquer¬ 
ing process. 

The sticks are hung by the nylon inserts on a 
special conveyer system. 


trolled rooms to keep your supply in. If 
you take a solid piece of hickory, and let it 
sit there for a day or two in the summer¬ 
time, with the very high humidity—and 
most of their buildings are open—I believe 
that there will be a lot of problems before 
you get the sticks finished. And even when 
they're finished, they can still absorb a lot 
of moisture. I'm talking about warpage. 
RVH: That can occur even on the retail 
shelves, can't it, if the sticks have been 
there awhile? 

JDC: There's nothing like fresh sticks— 
just like fresh doughnuts. I think a fresh 
stick has more life to it. 

RVH: While other companies have a selec¬ 
tion of wood types, you've only mentioned 
hickory. Do you use any other type of 

JSC: It depends on the purpose of the 
stick. We do use maple for concert sticks 
and timpani mallet handles, because it's a 
lighter wood, and seems to be preferred by 
timpanists. But we've found hickory to be 
the toughest wood that we can use, based 
on the technical data we've discovered in 
our research. Also, if you look over the 
entire history of this country, any striking 
tool that has a wood handle has always 
been made out of hickory. A quality axe or 
hammer always has a hickory handle, and 
that's because of the toughness of the 
wood. It's not necessarily as hard as an oak 
or some other woods, but it will flex more 
under a lot of tension or stress; it'll take a 
lot more shock. We feel that has a lot to do 
with the amount of shock and vibrations 
that go up into your arm. 

JDC: I'd like to set the record straight on 
"red wood hickory" and "white wood 
hickory." There is a difference. The sap 
wood, or white wood of the hickory, is the 
outer layer of the trunk of the tree, and can 
be anywhere from 1/2” to two or more 
inches thick around the circumference of a 
10" or 12" tree. You want to remember 
that the sap wood is where the sap runs up 
and down the tree; that wood is still alive. 
The red wood is the heart wood in the cen¬ 
ter of the tree; the sap does not run up and 
down, and I personally consider it the dead 
wood. There's more life when using white 
hickory than red hickory. So white wood is 
definitely the better wood for drumsticks. 
Now, you can have a good red, and a poor 
white, and then the red will be better, but 
when you get a good white, there's no red 
that can be better than that. In choosing 
drumsticks, look at the butt end and get 
the count of the annular rings. I consider a 
count of 11 to the inch the maximum for 
quality sticks. In other words, if you could 
have four or five, that would be great . . . 
up to 11. If you start getting 12, 13, 14,20, 
you're getting a very brash, light stick 
which you can split. You should look for 
straight grain, white hickory, with a low 

The conveyer dips the sticks in lacquer, and 
then moves them through a drying heater. The 
lacquer is dry when the sticks emerge a few 
moments later. 

The sticks receive their nylon lips, and the pro¬ 
truding portion of the nylon insert is trimmed 
off, creating the black dot visible in the butt 
ends of all Calato sticks. 

After tipping, each stick is carefully weighed. 

Sticks are matched for weight and cosmetic 
appearance (color, grain, etc.) before being 
bagged for shipping. 


annular ring count. If you go by those rules 
of stick selection, you can pick a good stick 
even if it's in a package. Nine times out of 
ten, the wider the grain is spaced apart, the 
heavier the stick—the more density. 

JOHN BECK: A more solid piece of wood 
will give you a better bounce. 

JSC: And they're stronger. When you get a 
stick that's brash, it'll tend to snap. [At 
this point Joe D. Calato picks up a rival 
stick with grain running diagonal to the 
length of the stick.] 

JDC: Here's a good example of a cross¬ 
grain. We wouldn't put a stick like that out 
in Regal Tip; we'd JOJO it. [JOJOs are 
Calato's "second line."] See how that 
grain crosses right across the stick? That 
stick’s going to break there. Where you see 
the grain lines is where the sap runs up and 
down the tree, and it's full of air holes. 
We'd reject it, or at the very least send it to 
JOJOs. [He picks up another stick.] Now 
this one is too brash. Count the rings on it: 
nine, in a stick a little less than half an inch 
in diameter. I figure 11 to the inch should 
be the absolute maximum, yet it's common 
to see upwards of 18 to the inch like this. 
[He picks up a Regal Tip.] Count the rings 
on this stick: four. Now that's the general 
rule. There are one or two other things. 
You want to make sure that the grain runs 
generally right down the stick, especially 
through the neck area and shoulder, so you 
get a good solid rimshot. 

RVH: Describe the stages a stick goes 
through from the time it arrives as lumber 
on the truck to the time it gets wrapped in a 
plastic bag for shipping. 

JDC: The very first step is finding a sup¬ 
plier to deliver good material. I don't 
know how many species of hickory there 
are, but there aren't too many good ones, 
so you have to go right down there to the 

JSC: As far as the manufacturing process 
goes, the first step is air drying, outside in 
the yard. Before that we insert what we call 
"stickers" to separate the boards and 
allow air to flow evenly. Then we put the 
wood in our dry kiln, which brings it down 
to a very specific moisture content in a very 
specific amount of time. 

JDC: At a very slow pace. 

JSC: That's one of the most critical opera¬ 
tions. In our "mill" area we put the boards 
through a surfacer [a machine plane], the 
gang saw, the doweling machine, and the 
cutoff saw that cuts the dowels to length. 
Then we go into the lathing, where the 
stick is shaped. Then we sand the stick, do 
a filling operation, and sand it again. At 
this point every stick is inspected for 
warps, knots, nicks, bad grain or other 
defects. Next the stick goes to be printed, 
and to have some finishing details put on it. 
Then it's lacquered, and finally we put the 
tip on it. After we put the tip on, we inspect 

The machine shop, where research and devel¬ 
opment of sticks and equipment takes place. 

Carol Calato Simon and Cathy Calato handle 
company administration. 

the stick again, so each stick is inspected 
twice. Then the sticks get weighed and 
sorted, and sticks that weigh within a gram 
of each other are matched together for 

RVH: How many different models of 
sticks do you make? 

JDC: Forty or more. 

RVH: And your range of distribution is 

JDC: We even sell sticks behind the Iron 
Curtain. We don't market them there our¬ 
selves; some distributors we sell to are 
allowed to sell them there. 

RVH: Additional non-stick products that 
you've had for a while include practice- 
pad drumsets and a bass drum pedal. Was 
that pedal your own design? 

JDC: Both Joe [S.] and I worked on that. 
Most of it was his design. 

RVH: How long have you been making 

JDC: About 15 years or so, and they're my 
pride and joy. The wood-handled brushes 
came about by trying to figure out what to 
do with the lumber we rejected. The fea¬ 
tures of our retractable brushes include a 
patented system for the way that brush is 
put together. It has a stop feature that 
allows the brush to come out a certain dis¬ 
tance, and the brush is very solid; you 
don't get any rattle. We don't use the 
standard aluminum tube and then roll it 
over at the end; ours has a rubber sleeve 
that actually inserts inside the tubing. And 
the aluminum tubing that we use is the 
same as they use on aircraft with an alloy 
added to it to make it harder; it's a heavier 
gauge tubing than your normal brush. I 
think our wire is the finest you can buy; it 
doesn't have any burrs on it anywhere. 
There are a couple of other key features, 
but we can't tell the competition loo much. 
RVH: Your latest new product is the Bias- 
ticks. How did that come about? 

JDC: We were in California at a NAMM 
show, and a young lad named Andy 
Phreaner was standing in front of me with 
a pair of them in his hands. I looked at 
those odd-looking brushes and said, 
"What have you got there?" He said, 
"That's what I came here to talk to you 
about. I'd like to see if you'd want to make 
these for me." I looked at them and said, 
"That's a great idea. Sure, I'd like to make 
them for you." We struck up a good rela¬ 
tionship based on what I thought was a 
great idea. By the sales quotas, now I'm 
sure it was a great idea. We've had rock 
drummers who've said, "Hey those things 
can be used for some rock music" and jazz 
drummers who've said, "I can get some 
funky sounds out of those" and then John 
Beck says, "I have a little number we can 
do in the classics with them." 

JOHN: I think the possibilities are just 
endless. All it takes is some creativity for 

you to take almost any object and make it 
do something for you. 

RVH: Was it the same situation with the i 
Jestick? Someone came to you with a fin¬ 
ished product and you took it in for manu- I 

JDC: In that case, yes. Jim Salmon came 
to us with a finished prototype, which we 
took. We get a lot of people who come to 
us with products, but we don't take too 
many in. They have to be practical and use- I 
ful, and not just a gadget. 

CAROL SIMON: And something that 
we're set up to manufacture. We've seen 
some good ideas that we just couldn't pos¬ 
sibly make with the present setup. 

JSC: Some things are good ideas, but the 
value is so low that we don't think it's justi¬ 
fied for us to pick them up, because in the 
end the royalties would be so small. A lot 
of times we tell the inventors to manufac¬ 
ture it themselves; do it out of their base¬ 
ment just like my father started, and at 
least make themselves some money that 

JOHN: 1 can walk through the factory and 
see endless possibilities for taking what is I 
standard equipment and turning it into 
something in the symphonic line. Like the 
Carmine Appice stick: You could put a 
piece of felt on the end and that could 
become a great, multiple-percussion stick. 
The problem is that there's limited 
saleability on those items, because they're 
specialty items. But they'd appeal to sym¬ 
phony players, and the reason I know this 
is because I've had to go through making 
my own specialty sticks. When I see it 
already done, I think, "Wow, this is I 

RVH: Is your felt and sewing operation 

JDC: We job out some of the sewing, but I 
we do the handles, the balls, the felt, and 
most of the sewing here. 

JSC: The sewing that we job out is still 
done under our specs, and we have to 
approve every shipment. 

JDC: Almost everything we make is made I 
under this roof. It's the same with the I 
drum corps mallets. We got together with 
Gus Barbaro and he designed our drum 
corps line. I think we're starting to make 
noises in the drum corps field. 

CAROL: We were just endorsed by the 
Garfield Cadets—who were the DCI cham¬ 
pions for the last two years—and by the 
Rosemont Cavaliers. 

RVH: Now we get into the question of how i 
you take input—not only from the major 
artists you’re already associated with, but 
the average drummer out in the field who 
might have a suggestion—and turn it into a 
drumstick. How does a stick get from 
design concept to production? 

JSC:Well, we always read Modern Drum- 

continued on page 108 I 

Father and son, Joe D. and Joe S. Calato, 
direct development of the company. 

John Beck—classical percussionist, author, 
and now a consultant to the Calato company — 
discusses stick and mallet design with Joe D. 
Calato. 21 

Photo by Fin Costello 

~W 1IFTY minutes outside London, lan 
Paice awaited my arrival in his 
M Porsche. How could Ifeel anything 
but good, having just watched lush, rolling 
country side from my train window? Time 
passed quickly as we sat in a pub and lan 
related his story to me. It was during the 
summer of '68 that Deep Purple first made 
its impact in America with a Joe South 
tune called "Hush." The record moved 
into the Top 10 and soon the success of 
theirfirst album, Shades Of Deep Purple, 
paved the way for a concert tour. Their 
reputation grew the following year with 
the release of such singles as "Kentucky 
Woman" and "River Deep, Mountain 
High." The Book Of Taliesyn and Deep 
Purple In Concert further stimulated the 
public's interest. 

Some 12 albums were recorded between 
1968 and 1975, at which time Ritchie 

Blackmore departed. Tommy Bolin made 
one album with the group, Come and 
Taste The Band, but the group disbanded 
in 1976, much to the dismay of rock fans 
throughout the world. 

Listening to lan speak about his subse¬ 
quent positions with such notable groups 
as Whitesnake and Gary Moore, one can 
easily understand the role Deep Purple has 
played in his life. It has been such a monu¬ 
mental part of his career that he can barely 
contain his excitement about the group 
being back together. 

As I look out the window of the pub, 1 
am struck with the contrast between this 
member of Deep Purple, a group which 
foreshadowed the rowdy, heavy metal 
genre, and the soft-spoken individual who 
enjoys the quiet country life of the Thames 
Valley. Obviously, that balance is impor¬ 
tant to him. 

"It is now, because I'm not 21 any¬ 
more, " he says candidly. "I have a wife 
and two children. My main indulgence 
outside music is horse racing, and I'm 
never more than half an hour away from 
that. That's my only involvement in coun¬ 
try life, other than the fact that 1 like the 
quiet. I don't like cities. I have a lovely 
house, privacy and lean do what I want. I 
could not get that in the city. I'm lucky that 
I've been in a situation which has made a 
lot of money for me and has given me a 
certain independence." 

RF: How did Deep Purple get back 
together after all these years? 

IP: Basically, what happened was that Ion 
[Lord] and I thought there was still a possi¬ 
bility of getting the Purple thing back 
together, so we started making quiet inqui¬ 
ries about the interest on the business side 
amongst record companies, promoters 



and such. What we didn't know was that, 
at the same time lan [Gillan], Ritchie 
[Blackmore] and Roger [Glover] were 
doing exactly the same thing in America. 
Of course, business people do talk to each 
other, and the next thing I knew, I got a 
call from the manager of Rainbow saying 
we were both going at this from different 
angles and on different sides of the Atlan¬ 
tic. When we realized that all five of us, in 
fact, were interested in doing it, we set up a 
meeting. The gist of the meeting was that if 
we were going to do it, we were not going 
to do it as a nostalgia thing or a hit-and-run 
job of going out on the road for a year, 
making a lot of money and then forgetting 
about it again. The concensus of opinion 
was that if we were going to do it, we were 
going to do it properly—a straight contin¬ 
uation of what we were doing ten years 
ago. We were going to do it very seriously 
and look at it as a two-and-a-half to three- 
year project, and that's where we are now. 
It was most important that we didn't just 
do it for the money. We had to find out 
that we still liked each other and it would 
work again when we started playing 
together. The next stage after the meeting 
was to set up a rehearsal area for about a 
month. We went up to Vermont, where it 
was quiet, and it worked incredibly well. 
At that point, we knew there was nothing 
really to stop us. We got on very well and 
the music came very easily again. 

RF: What was it like the very first time you 
played together again? 

IP: It was a little strange, but it seemed 
very natural. That might seem like a con¬ 
tradiction, but there was that chemical 
thing, and you don't know why it works 
with some people and why it doesn't with 
others. It was strange to see the faces 
across the stage playing, but at the same 
time, it was the most natural thing in the 
world. It was as if ten years hadn't really 

RF: What kind of music are you creating? 
IP: It is the same rawness that was in the 
early stuff, but with a passage of ten years, 
so it's 1980's music instead of 1960's and 
1970's music. 

RF: What do you perceive as the differ¬ 
ence? Can you put that into words? 

IP: I can't. It's a genuine extension of what 

we'd done before, just played a little less 
frantically. We still seem to be getting the 
rawness and aggression coming through, 
which is the trademark. I don't know; 
when I hear the old records, they're still 
nice, but that was then. I hear what we're 
doing now and it's definitely today. It's not 
a trying-to-live-in-the-past sort of thing. 
That would be a huge mistake. 

RF: Everybody calls Deep Purple the fore¬ 
runner of heavy metal. Now that you're 
actually back in the ball game, do you see 
this as heavy metal? 

IP: I don't think it ever really was. What 
we spawned was heavy metal. What we did 
was heavy rock 'n' roll. I think metal tends 
to be quite mindless—void of any subtlety 
at all, lyrically or musically. No one could 
ever say we were of that ilk. Thought 
always went into what we did and that still 
applies. When we do get back on the road, 
people will actually see where a lot of it has 
gone wrong in music. Bands have gone for 
the power of it without thinking about why 
the power is there. It's a small point, but 
quite important. 

RF: When and why did you become inter¬ 
ested in drums? 

IP: My father was a musician and he used 
to play a lot of big band stuff around the 
house. Then I saw a couple of Krupa mov¬ 
ies, and I just thought the guy looked so 
flashy that I thought it might be something 
I'd like to do. It was really the visual side 
rather than the music side that I went for 
first. When I was 15, they sort of got fed up 
with my taking biscuit tins to use as drums, 
so they bought me a red-sparkle kit, which 
cost about $50, brand new. It sort of went 
from there. 

After about six months, I joined a little 
rock 'n' roll band, which I stayed with 
until I was about 17. Then I turned profes¬ 
sional, which didn't mean I earned any 
more money; I just didn't have a daytime 
job. From that band, which worked exten¬ 
sively through Britain and Europe, I ended 
up at the Star Club in Hamburg in '67, 
which is where I met Ritchie. The rest 
became history. 

RF: Isn't that where you also met Jon 

IP: No, I had met Jon before at the Mar¬ 
quee in London. A band I was in was the 

by Robyn Flans 

support act to a band he was in. The band I 
was playing with, called the MI5, had been 
doing a three-month gig in Milan, Italy. 
We found that we could pick up three 
weeks at the Star Club in Hamburg on our 
way back. That's what we did. It was at 
that time that Ritchie was living there, and 
we just sort of bumped into each other. In 
those days, it was very much a musician's 
place. Everyone who was good but hadn't 
really gotten any success would go over to 
Germany because they could make more 
money. For three weeks it was sort of, 
"Hi. How are you?" with Ritchie. We 
went back to England and carried on 
working. About nine months after that, 
Purple was being formed. The singer in my 
band auditioned for the job and Ritchie 
said, "Do you still have the drummer with 
you?" He said yes and that's when I came 
along to the gig. 

RF: From what I gather, the experience in 
Germany was very good training. 

IP: Yes. You worked hard. You were 
building up your physical power to actu¬ 
ally play, while at the same time, com¬ 
pletely crucifying yourself by being silly 
because it was very hard to be normal 
there. Mid-week at the Star Club, you'd 
start at 6:00 in the evening and finish at 
4:00 in the morning. There would be three 
bands up. You'd play an hour, take two 
hours off, play an hour, and take two 
hours off. So you'd play four hours a 
night. On the weekends there would be 
four bands on and you'd still play four 
hours, but you'd start at 4:30 in the after¬ 
noon and play until 8:00 the next morning, 
by which time you were so wired that you 
couldn't go straight to sleep. So you'd go 
down to a little beer house and before you 
knew it, it would be time to go back on 
stage. After three days, you wouldn't be 
feeling too well. But once you got into the 
swing of it and learned how to pick up a 
half an hour's sleep here and 40 minutes' 
sleep there, you would end up with a lot of 
physical power, especially for a drummer 
where the more you play, the stronger you 

RF: What exactly do you mean by 

IP: If you are driving a car, you have an 
overdrive switch where you just give it that 


little bit more than you would normally 
give it. But you can only do that so long 
before your muscles start cramping up on 
you and you have to go back to what you 
call your normal gear. If you're really fit 
and you've really been playing hard a long 
time, it's easier to stay in the overdrive 
gear. It makes you a lot more excited, and 
for some reason, it always picks up a band. 
That sort of thing is more prevalent in rock 
'n' roll than any other music where it's 
physical force that generates excitement. 
Of course, the more fit you are, the more 
you can sustain that and the more exciting 
it becomes. There are things I can't do now 
that were easy to do then, even though I 
know more things now, technically. I 
know the easy way around things, where I 
struggled to do things the hard way 16 
years ago. 

RF: Did anybody ever try to discourage 
you from playing left-handed? 

IP: No. I never even thought about it until 
I went to set up my first decent drumkit and 
saw that it was built for a right-handed 
player. The tom mounting was in the 
wrong place. When you watch yourself in 
the mirror, you look right-handed, so you 
think you look just like everybody else. 
Had I gone for lessons, I dare say the 
teacher would have tried to get me to play 
right-handed. Had I done so, I think I 
would be a better player today, because I 
would have been training my weaker hand 
to play all the hard stuff from day one and 
the independence my left hand would have 
would be amazing. Basically, I'm just a 
mirror image of every other drummer. The 

ambidextrous thing of changing over is the 
sort of thing Simon Phillips and Billy 
Cobham have perfected. It must be very 
hard for them because they were set in their 
way of playing right-sided. Had I started 
being naturally left-sided and been trained 
from day one to play with the right, that 
would have all been there automatically. 
Any drummer who is naturally left-handed 
should try playing the other way around 
for a year, because the independence on 
the left side will be frightening. 

RF: Did you have any formal training? 

IP: The only formal training was my father 
showing me what a daddy-mommy roll 
was. He said, "Practice that," and I did, 
and that was it. Then I knew there was such 


a thing as a paradiddle. I didn't know what 
it was, but I found out from other drum¬ 
mers. Everything was just a variation of 

It's funny; when I do clinics, the first 
thing I say is, "Anybody with any techni¬ 
cal question, just forget it. I'm not inter¬ 
ested in it and you can probably play more 
rudiments than 1 can. The thing is, I can 
probably play a bit faster and better than 

you can. 

RF: Do you feel that the lack of technical 
knowledge has hindered or helped you? 
IP: A bit of both, really. There are certain 
things I might have liked to have done with 
formalized arranged music, but I have 
always found that very difficult because I 
don't read a note. There are certain things 
that become very difficult unless you know 
how to throw every rudiment in the book 
in. Yet, on the other hand, the fact that I 
never have any preconceived ideas about 
what anything should be gives me a lot 
more freedom than people who maybe 
know a little too much for their own good. 
When we did the stuff in Purple with the 
orchestras, you should have seen my score. 
Everybody had a proper score with notes, 
treble clefs and staffs, except me. For the 
first movement it said, "Hang around for 
about six minutes, wait for three big 
bangs, and come in with first rock 'n' roll 
rhythm." That was good enough for me. 
The fiddle section the first time through 
was saying, "Is this guy for real? Is he jok¬ 
ing?" But the funny thing was that on the 
first two run-throughs, I got it right and 
they got it wrong. It only needs one note to 
be in the wrong place and the whole section 
goes, whereas I know exactly what my 
piece of music is. I wrote it for myself. It 
was quite something to see their faces. 

RF: Did you enjoy the symphonic work? 
IP: It was a lot of hard work for basically a 
very short time. We maybe did orchestral 
work three or four times—two different 
pieces—and I'm talking about three to 
four weeks of heavy work. There are easier 
ways to enjoy yourself. I'm glad I did it so I 
can say I did it, but I wouldn't want to do it 
again, nor would I wish it on anybody else. 
Orchestras don't play in time. We play on 
the downbeat and they play on the upbeat. 
There's a fraction of a second difference 
and they're always late. There's nothing 
you can do about it and there's nothing 
they can do about it. It's just the way 
things are. 

RF: A hard rock band working with an 
orchestra was very unusual for that time. 
IP: In those days, it was a lot easier to be 
lots of different things. Now, you're either 
a rock band, a blues band or a pop band. 
Youcan'tsay, "Wedothis and this." Peo¬ 
ple won't take it. They put you into a little 
niche and bag, and if you say, "But we can 
do this as well," they're really not too 
interested. Back then the whole thing was 
to break down the barriers, knock all the 
walls down and say, "Look, we can do 
anything we want." 

RF: They're not as interested in experi¬ 
mentation now as they were back then. 

IP: There's no money in it. Back then, 
nobody was thinking in terms of money. 
Now, I'm afraid the business has gotten 
mixed in with the artistic side. People start 
thinking, "This is not a commercial 



track," whereas that used to be the man¬ 
agement's problem. Now everybody 
knows there's so much money to be made 
that, if it's going to be made, they try to 
keep it all for themselves. This means that 
everyone takes a lot more of an interest in 
the financial aspect. It isn't just because we 
were kids then, whereas now we're adults. 
The kids now look at it that way. The first 
thing they talk about is how much this 
album is going to cost and make, instead 
of, "Let's just make the album and see 
what happens.” 

RF: Who were your influences drummer- 
wise and musically? 

IP: After Krupa I got into rock and into 
the music of my generation. There was a 
British band called the Hollies and their 
drummer, Bobby Elliot, just had a sound 
that was different from everybody else. 
Everybody else had a sort of woody, 
wooly, mucky sound where you couldn't 
actually pick out anything. He had a clean 
sound that just cut through. He played 
patterns and put interesting fills into a mid¬ 
dle eight or into a chorus. He was actually 
thinking about the song he was playing. I 
tried to pattern myself after what he was 
doing. In about '66 or '67, Vanilla Fudge 
happened with Carmine, and I don’t think 
there's any good rock player who Carmine 
hasn't influenced to some degree. John 
Bonham was greatly influenced by Car¬ 
mine, although he never actually admitted 
it. I certainly am, and people like Cozy 
Powell are. 

RF: What was it about Carmine that influ¬ 
enced you? 

IP: Not to think in straight fours. Carmine 
thinks in accents and pushes. He just 

looked at it a different way. Over here in 
England and Europe, we weren't looking 
at things that way. He was looking at 
sound as well. By that time, we were get¬ 
ting very hung up with studio drum sounds 
which were all very flat and small and not 
very interesting. He was the first one to 
really get away from that, and get back to 
the way a drumkit used to sound in the '50s 
when it was really just a couple of bad 
mic's and the room and drum sound. I'm 
still trying to achieve the drum sound that I 
hear in my drum room at home and get 
that on record. I still haven't done it. I put 
on a little cassette machine, play, and the 
drums are monsters—big and nasty. When 
I get into the studio and try to do the same 
thing, it's just too clinical. But I keep on 

trying. Carmine has come the closest to 
what I think is the perfect sound. 

RF:The recording techniques back when 
you started were very different than today? 
IP: Oh, yeah! You're talking about four- 
track recording. It was very, very difficult 
to get true quality. The quality on Sgt. 
Pepper is astounding, even by today's 
standards. They were running maybe 
three, four-track machines in synch so they 
were 12-track recordings, or however 
many machines they were using. But that 
was something you could do when you had 
lots of money to play with. For the rest of 
us, trying to make records and make them 
sound good was very difficult, because we 
really didn't have the equipment to do it 
continued on page 114 

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Photo by Paul Natkm 

HERE is a slight problem of perspec¬ 
tive when writing about the achieve¬ 
ments of Tristan Fry. He manages 
to have three successful careers, all as a 
drummer/percussionist, running simulta¬ 
neously, and he is still only in his early 30s. 
Tristan joined the London Philharmonic 
Orchestra at the age ofl 7, and within a few 
years had gained a reputation in musical 
circles as a rising young star in the field of 
orchestral percussion. He became a mem¬ 
ber of John Dankworth's jazz orchestra, 
playing tuned percussion, which soon led 
to him becoming one of the most in- 
demand session players in Britain. As if all 
this isn't enough, Tristan is also the drum¬ 
mer in Sky, a group with two gold albums 
to their credit to date. If they needed to be 
classified in one word, Sky would have to 
be put under the eclectic heading of 

Tristan's solo album, Twentieth Cen¬ 
tury Percussion Music (Music For Pleas¬ 
ure), is truly a solo album. There are no 
other performers and no overdubs. The 
material on the album is demanding listen¬ 
ing and would certainly only appeal to a 
minority taste, but the virtuoso perform¬ 
ance is clearly therefor any musician to 

Another problem when writing about 
Tristan is the man's extreme modesty. 
There is a danger that people who don 't 
know his work might take some of his self- 
effacing statements at face value. He is 
quite dismissive about his ability as a 
drumkit player. Connoisseurs of drumkit 
won't find anything frightfully original in 
Tristan's playing on the more straight¬ 
ahead rock material. The straight beat, the 
descending fills on the toms — you've heard 
it before. That doesn't invalidate it, 
though. It isfunctional and workmanlike. 
Hear how Tristan handles the ocld-time 
signatures, notice how he brings his wide 
musical experience to bear on Sky's subtle 
arrangements, see him doubling on tuned 
percussion and ask yourself how many 
other drummers in rock bands could do all 
that. At the start of my interview with Tris¬ 
tan I wanted to talk about his versatility, so 
I asked him about the instruments he uses 
with Sky. 

TF: With Sky we've got a drumkit, a vibra¬ 
phone and a marimba. That's all we use in 
the current program. The first timeout, we 
had timpani as well—seven of them. That 
was for a thing I did called "Tristan's 
Magic Garden." Also the trumpet— 
mustn’t forget the trumpet. It's a bit of a 
feature. It's actually done as a send-up in 
one of the tunes, "Tuba Smarties." There 
is also a bit of it in the most recent album 

Cadmium, in a number called "Telex 
From Peru." Of course, you'll fully realize 
when you hear the trumpet that I don't 
actually play the trumpet, [laughs] 

SG: You play many more instruments than 
the ones you have mentioned, don't you? 
TF: Well, yes. Professional percussion¬ 
ists—grand title—have to play all the per¬ 
cussion stuff: Latin percussion, wash¬ 
boards, all the effects, you name it. For 
percussionists, doing film work, in which 
they supply a lot of the sounds and even 
suggest things to the composer, is a great 
way to earn a living. They get to do horse's 
hooves, sleighbells, and all kinds of things. 
SG: What instrument did you start on? 

TF: My dad, who is also a percussionist, 
started me on the piano when I was four 
and a half. I hated it at the time, but have 
since regretted not sticking with it, like 
most people do. But I suppose I must have 
spent two or three years on that, learning 
scales and working for grades. My dad was 
in the London Philharmonic Orchestra at 
the time. One of his colleagues was Peter 
Allen, the principal timpanist. I was abi t 
precocious when I was about six years old, 
and I went up to Peter and asked him to 
give me lessons. He said, "Conte back to 
me when you are nine." So on my ninth 
birthday I phoned him—even more preco¬ 
cious. I said, "How about those lessons?" 
and he said, "Yes. Come along," which 
was fantastic! 

SG: Why Peter Allen and notyou r dad? 
TF: Have you ever tried teaching some¬ 
body in the family? It can be difficult. My 
dad thought it would be better for some¬ 
one else to teach me. Peter was willing to 
do it. He only had one other pupil, Jimmy 
Holland, who is now the principal percus¬ 
sionist in the BBC Symphony Orchestra, 
so that worked out fine. Peter had me 
working on a practice pad for four years. 
He wouldn't let me touch a drum during 
that time, which I think was a very good 
idea, and I'm surprised that more people 
don't teach that way. For one thing, it is 
good for the chops, but also, kids who 
don't touch a drum are going to get bored 
very quickly unless they are genuinely 
interested. If you can stand four years on a 
practice pad, you must be really keen! 

SG: Isn't there a chance that people who 
could become very good in time might 
become discouraged and give up? After 
all, they want to play a drum, not a pad. 
TF: You can get over things like that. 
Human nature is a funny thing; if you 
really want to do something, you will do it. 
SG: So you gravitated towards orchestral 
percussion quite naturally? 

TF: Absolutely, because of my father 

Simon Goodwin 

being involved in it and my teacher. For 
me, all I wanted to do from the age of nine 
was to be a symphonic side drummer. No 
timpani, no vibraphone, or anything, 
[laughs] Actually the idea of tuned percus¬ 
sion was like going back to piano, and I 
didn't want to do that! 

But then at the age of 13 or 14, I went 
along to a concert at the London Philhar¬ 
monic. At the time, John Dankworth was 
doing some jazz pieces combined with clas¬ 
sical music. The band and the orchestra 
were together. They did a piece by John 
and something by Matyas Seiber. I remem¬ 
ber thinking that jazz was a little bit out of 
the way, but I went to that concert and I 
was totally bowled over. The band was 
great, and the drummer particularly 
impressed me. That was Kenny Clare, and 
I have been a great admirer of his ever 
since. I was knocked out with the attitude 
of the guys in the band too. It was a com¬ 
pletely different attitude to that of the peo¬ 
ple in the orchestra. I realized that there 
was more to music than I had hitherto 
thought. I started going to see other 
things—Count Basie, for instance, with 
Sonny Payne on drums. What I really liked 
about seeing drummers like Sonny and 
Kenny playing was that they were thor¬ 
oughly enjoying what they were doing. I'd 
not seen that before. 

SG: Do you mean that orchestral players 
always looked a bit stiff while they were 

TF: It was part of the discipline that you 
shouldn't show that you were enjoying 
yourself too much. This was back in the 
early '60s and I think that things have 
changed a bit since, partly as a result of 
those concerts. The integration of styles— 
having classical musicians getting together 
with jazz musicians, and later on rock 
musicians—has been very healthy for all 
concerned. A lot of musicians have gone 
from one side to the other, some success¬ 
fully, some not. But the whole business has 
meant that now there is a much lighter feel¬ 
ing when you go to symphony concerts. 
There is a lighter feel from the orchestra 
because they don't have to be so starchy. 
SG: Weren't you involved in one of these 
jazz and orchestral things yourself, with 
the Duke Ellington Orchestra? 

TF: Yes. I joined the London Philhar¬ 
monic Orchestra when I was 17. We used 
to do concerts each year for the Orchestra 
Benevolent Fund, and they would get a big 
name over to bring in the crowds. One year 
we had Danny Kaye, who was a fabulous 
conductor, because he was such a good 

Modest Virtuoso 

mimic. Another time there was Jack 
Benny, playing the violin and telling gags. 
So Duke Ellington came to do one of these 
concerts. We did some things with the 
Orchestra, he did some with his band, and 
then we joined forces. There was a new 
piece that Duke Ellington had composed, 
but his band hadn't rehearsed it. His 
drummer didn't really want to do it, and 
they needed somebody who was more of 
an orchestral type of drummer. So I got to 
play the drums with the Ellington band, 
which was terrific. 

SG: You were playing the drumkit? 

TF: I was actually on the drumkit, yes. It 
was brushes, a bit of waltz time, this, that 
and the other, but it was a fantastic experi¬ 
ence to be playing the drums with the Duke 

John Dankworth was at the concert, 
doing the announcing for TV, and shortly 
after that he asked me if I would join his 

band on tuned percussion. So I did three 
years with John's band, which was, again, 

SG: We seemed to have skipped how you 
started playing tuned percussion. You 
were reluctant to do it as a boy. 

TF: That's right, but my father could see 
things coming up which I couldn't. He 
kept telling me that modern music was 
coming in and they would be using xylo¬ 
phones, vibraphones, and things like that, 
so I ought to learn them. But I wouldn't— 
didn't want to. To be honest, back in the 
early '60s, there were various repertoire 
pieces like The Young Person's Guide To 
The Orchestra and The Sorcerer's Appren¬ 
tice which kept coming up, and if you 
could play those you were alright. So I 
learned to play some of these without ever 
learning to play the instruments properly. 
It wasn't until I joined John's band and 
started doing session work that I found out 
what playing a musical instrument really 
meant. I had to learn rather quickly, which 

again is a very good experience. If you 
have a part in front of you and the red light 
is on, you do tend to learn quickly; if you 
don't, you fall by the wayside. 

SG: You must have had some ability 
before that. It must have been inside you 

TF: Well, in addition to side drum, I had 
done timps, so I had the technique from 
that. But I really fell back on my knowl¬ 
edge of piano. I couldn't really play the 
piano, but when you're playing xylo¬ 
phone, or something like that, you are only 
playing one line, which seems an awful lot 
easier than all the lines you have to play on 
piano. I was lucky. 

SG: When you were with John Dank¬ 
worth, you must have gotten into jazz 

TF: I didn't really; I must be honest. To a 
point I can do it. I will play for my own 
pleasure, but I don't really think that an 

improvisation of mine is going to knock 
anybody out. I don't really feel that side of 

SG: You were playing with the top jazz 
band in the country. Didn't it ever happen 
that the finger was pointed at you to take a 

TF: If it was, I always pointed back, 
[laughs] It was a big band with some really 
excellent soloists, but not everybody was a 
soloist. There was a tuba player who 
wasn't a soloist, and not all the saxes and 
brass took solos either. 

SG: You do some composing, don't you? 
TF: Yes, a bit, but I wouldn't say that I'm 
a composer. I can write the odd little tune, 
but actually I'm sure we all can. I'm sure 
you can; I'm sure that everybody can. It's 
only because we don't. They say there is a 
book in everybody; in the same way, I 
think there are probably quite a few good 
pieces in everybody. 

SG: But your compositions are used in Sky 
and they are used as TV themes. 

TF: It's fantastic when people pick it up 
like that. 

SG: I think you are being a bit modest. 
Lots of people write, but only a small per¬ 
centage of those manage to do it success¬ 

TF: I' m not saying it's easy, because you 
actually have to sit down and do it. That's 
the hardest thing with most of us. It's the 
self-discipline of sitting down at the piano, 
or any other instrument, or even nothing, 
and knocking offa tune. That's the hardest 
thing. Whenever I've written something I 
say to myself, "Why don't you just sit here 
and keep writing?" because if you can put 
out a certain volume of stuff, something is 
bound to be alright. Everybody should do 

SG: There isn't the outlet for most of us. 
Music publishers are swamped with mate¬ 
rial from hopeful writers. 

TF: Well, yes. I am lucky; I have an outlet 
through the band. 

SG: Returning to your playing career, did 
you have to leave the London Philhar¬ 
monic in order to play with Dankworth? 
TF: No, I was still with the Orchestra, 
though obviously I couldn't be there all the 
time. John's band wasn't a full-time gig. It 
would be like two or three weeks at Ronnie 
Scott's, then a few weeks off, then a tour 
for a few days, and more time off after¬ 
wards. We went on tour with Facade, 
which was fun. Cleo Laine and Annie Ross 
both did vocal parts in that. 

At the same time I was doing a West End 
show. It was Robert And Elizabeth by Ron 
Grainer. I was with that show for three 
years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can 
honestly say that it was like Christmas 
every day. People often think that a show 
can be boring, doing the same thing every 
night, but this was great. The company 
was made up of such lovely people that we 
all got on like a family. Going to the the¬ 
ater was like going home every day. 

SG: You were sending in substitutes when 
you were double booked? 

TF: Yes, I was putting deps [subs] in when 
there was something with the Orchestra or 
with John. But very often, if I had a gig 
with the Orchestra in which I was finished 
by the interval, I would go back to the the¬ 
ater and say to whoever was depping, "If 
you would like an early night, I will take 
over." I enjoyed it so much. There wasn't 
room for the percussion in the pit, so I had 
to be in a box at the side. The front row of 
the stalls got the worst of it—the screech¬ 
ing oftimp pedals, the lot. [laughs] 

SG: As for the drumkit, from what you 
said earlier it seems as if the first time you 
played drumkit was with the Duke 
Ellington Orchestra! 

TF: Well ... not totally true. I'd done a 
lot of amateur shows. I'd done quite a lot 
of show drumming, but no real jazz drum¬ 
ming, and certainly no big band drum¬ 
ming. Nowadays, a lot of schools and most 
County Councils run jazz bands, but 20 
years ago there just wasn't that interest. 

Jazz was still frowned upon. The Royal 
Academy of Music didn't have any jazz 
students. They weren't even allowed to do 

SG: The rock groups of the time were quite 
beyond the pale. 

TF: Oh yes, they didn't want to know 
about any of that. When I was still at 
school, I went to the Academy part time on 
Saturday mornings, and in those days, you 
still couldn't take percussion as a study. I 
think that that would be amazing to the 
Americans because percussion has been 
quite an up-front thing over there for 
years. But in this country, you couldn't 
even have a percussion teacher. They did 
need percussionists to play in the orches¬ 
tra, so they would get all their conductor 
students to do it. That was always a terrible 
mess, because they didn't know anything 
about it. 

So I didn't have any formal training on 
the drumkit, and I never got 'round to 
playing rock drums until the group Sky. 
Some people might say that I still haven't 
gotten 'round to playing them, [laughs] 
SG: That's a cue to introduce Sky into the 
conversation. How was it formed? 

TF: John Williams got together with Her¬ 
bie Flowers and Francis Monkman, the 
original keyboard player, to do an album. 
The three of them felt that it would be nice 
to get a band together to tour. I know that 
John felt that being on the road as a solo 
guitarist was rather a lonely life. There 
would be other people involved in what 
you were doing, but it's not the same as 
being in a band. So the three of them got 
together. They decided that they could do 
with another guitarist who was into the 
rock side of things, and Kevin Peek was the 
natural choice because he plays classical 
guitar as well. Therefore, he would be able 
to play duets with John. Great. Everybody 
else was too busy, so they got me in on 

SG: You seemed a natural choice, too. 
You were the country's number-one young 
orchestral percussionist, and you had the 
versatility to fit in. 

TF: Well, I don't know. Anyway I was 
invited to join and I took a long time decid¬ 
ing, because I'd never been so committed 
to a group of people. To have a commit¬ 
ment to four other people like that was 
rather frightening; it was like getting mar¬ 
ried. I had an awful long think about it 

before I got 'round to saying yes. Of 
course, I have been very pleased that I did 
say yes, because for all five of us Sky has 
become such a joy in our lives. It is just 
sheer joy to be able to get up and play 
music that I really enjoy playing with four 
other lads, and also be able to get around 
and see the world. For instance, I have now 
been to Australia four times; I would prob¬ 
ably never have gone there in my whole 
life, but the band was going, so I went with 
a happy heart and it was fantastic. I was 
completely bowled over by that. 

SG: Not America yet though? 

TF: Not America, but maybe that time will 
come. I hope so. The problem with Amer¬ 
ica, from our point of view, is that we have 
a ground rule in the band not to spend 
longer than three weeks away at any one 
time. We only do three, three-week tours a 
year. We feel that, in order to go to Amer¬ 
ica, we would have to spend more than 
three weeks to do it properly. None of us, 
at the moment, feel that we can. There are 
families and other commitments. Also, we 
think that it is not a good idea to push 
everybody's working relationship too far. 

SG: You have an interesting blend of 
music to offer. Is it right to describe it as 
classical, rock, and traditional—very 
English in fact? 

TF: There is material from other coun¬ 
tries. On Sky 3, there is a Greek tune and 
some things from other countries. Of 
course on 2, there was "El Cielo." The tra¬ 
ditional and classical come and go all the 
time, but we are always open to other influ¬ 
ences. The advent of Steve Grey, for 
instance, on keyboards, gave us a new per¬ 
spective. He comes from a jazz back¬ 
ground and so he was able to introduce 
things like "Meheeco." It brought in a 
style that wasn't there before. With respect 
to Francis, that's not to say that it should 
have been there before. Francis did "Fifo" 
and "Where Opposites Meet." They were 
super pieces—quite heavy—but now we've 
gone into a different era with Steve. It's 
good to try to get an overall mixture. Per¬ 
haps what I’m trying to say is that five fel¬ 
lows can get up and have a go at anything, 
and hopefully it will work. 

SG: Did it just happen, or did you sit down 
and plan a musical policy? 

continued Off {nine I2S 

Photo by Laura Friedman 

by Don Perman 



Eight times a week from 1978 to 1981, an 
extraordinary feat of drumming took 
place at a Broadway theater. A Broadway 
show drummer sat behind an elevated 
drumset up on stage and re-created the art¬ 
istry, excitement, and magic of Gene Kru- 
pa's solo on "Sing, Sing, Sing." Simply 
playing a fiery, swinging 15-minute solo 
every night would have been challenge 
enough for anyone. But there was a great 
deal more going on. First, to satisfy the 
director, the drummer had to memorize all 
700 bars of the music. And every night, he 
had to crack accents in precisely the same 
places throughout the solo in order that the 
dancers—who included superstars like 
Ann Reinking—could perform their cho¬ 
reographed moves exactly the same way in 
every show. But this particular drummer 
did not even find these tasks sufficiently 
challenging. So he went to the ultimate 
level: He became Gene Krupa. He took 
from the movie The Gene Krupa Story the 
action of chewing a piece of gum before 
going on stage, which had figured in the 
film's romantic subplot. The drummer 
methodically chomped on a piece of gum 
every night on stage. Next, he put on the 
facial expressions that Sal Mineo had used 
in portraying Krupa. Finally, he actually 
incorporated Krupa's raw, self-taught 
style into his own virtuosic technique, 
which was the product of dedicated study 
with Joe Morello. The show was Dancin', 
directed by the legendary Bob Fosse. And 
the drummer was Allen Herman, a legend¬ 
ary Broadway musician. 

Herman's remarkable career has been 
filled with enough strange turns of fate and 
luck to provide a sequel to the Krupa film. 
At 37, Allen is at one of the major turning 
points of his life. He is a wonderfully 
down-to-earth, sincere, and unpretentious 
man. Secure about his own talent and 
achievements, he readily praises the play¬ 
ing of other musicians. 

Herman sees his life as marked by three 

major shifts. The first came when he aban¬ 
doned his obsession with jazz to become a 
steadily working rock ’n' roll pro. Next 
came a call out of the blue that transported 
him from top-flight rock to Broadway 
shows. And finally, he is now turning back 
to rock 'n' roll, his great love, to be a 
player/producer of new rock talent. 

As with many American stories of tal¬ 
ent, ambition, and success, it all began in 
Brooklyn. "I was taking bar mitzvah les¬ 
sons when I was 12," Allen recalls with a 
laugh. "One of the neighbor's kids was 
taking lessons too, and his father would 
pick us up. I asked the kid what his father 
did, and he said his father worked in the 
garment district as a pattern cutter, but on 
the weekend, he played weddings and bar 
mitzvahs. He was a drummer." Allen 
started taking lessons from his neighbor at 
the pre-inflationary rate of three dollar a 
session. He began with the traditional 
rudiments and basic books. A natural 
reader, he devoured the lessons. 

He didn't have a drumset and practiced 
only on a pad. That changed on the day of 
his bar mitzvah, when he received exactly 
$125 in gift money, which was enough to 
allow him to purchase his teacher's well- 
worn Slingerland set. 

His first real band playing came in high 
school, when he joined all the bands— 
orchestra, marching band, and dance 
band. By this time, Allen had progressed 
beyond the range of his first teacher. So he 
went to his high school bandleader, ajazz 
musician on the side, who advised him to 
try out for the Juilliard School's prep divi¬ 
sion. This program provided college-level 
training for high schoolers on a once-a- 
week basis. He was admitted and given a 

Herman studied with Juilliard's Morris 
Goldenberg, pursuing both advanced 
drum technique as well as musical theory. 
Goldenberg was so impressed with his stu¬ 
dent that he offered to get him into the col¬ 
lege with a continuation of the scholar¬ 
ship. "I declined to do it," Allen explains, 
"because I realized I didn't want to be a 
classical percussionist. I wanted to be a 
drummer. I told Moe [Goldenberg] that I 
wanted to study drums. I was really into 
Joe Morello at the time. So Moe gave me 
Morello's home phone number and said, 
'Well, I taught Joe briefly when he was at 

Juilliard. Call him up and tell him I told 
you to call.' " 

Herman, now about 15, was thrilled to 
have this connection to his idol Morello. 
Up to this point, his great influences were 
Gene Krupa and Morello. "I discovered 
Gene Krupa when I was about 14. The 
Gene Krupa Story with Sal Mineo had 
come out. I remember cutting out of 
school to see it a second time. And I would 
sit in my garage and try to make faces like 
Gene Krupa." 

Not long after, he found out about Joe 
Morello. "And then I discovered Joe, who 
was really a technician. I saw the difference 
between just a natural player [Krupa] who 
was a showman and a person who really 
knew the instrument. He [Morello] was 
probably the most musical drummer I ever 
met in my life, and one of the best techni¬ 
cians—a tremendous human being and 
very modest about himself." 

When Allen called him at Moe Golden- 
berg's suggestion, Morello immediately 
offered to take him on. Unfortunately, it 
did not work out. Morello's heavy sched¬ 
ule with the Brubeck quartet was too hectic 
to allow the lessons to actually begin. Ulti¬ 
mately, however, Herman would both 
study with Morello and re-create one of 
Krupa's greatest moments. 

After Juilliard prep, he studied briefly 
with Joel Rothman. He left high school at 
16 to hit the rock 'n' roll market. It was a 
major transition for him, artistically and 
professionally. "I played a lot of jazz in 
high school. I wanted to be ajazz player. 
When I got out of high school there was no 
money to be made at jazz. I was a white 
Jewish kid from Canarsie." However, he 
soon found his niche in the rock scene. 

Allen's first regular rock gig was as the 
house drummer at a club called The Gold 
Bug in New York's Greenwich Village. 
After his involvement with jazz, the new 
position provided a crash course in rock 
'n' roll. He was with a band, Mike Scott 
and the Night Riders. "We got the gig as 
the house band. What that entailed was 
playing five nights a week from nine 
o'clock in the evening until three o'clock in 
the morning." On weekends, the club 
brought in rock acts from the early '50s 
such as Gary U.S. Bonds, The Times, and 
Screamin' Jay Hawkins. It was a lot of 
James Brown stuff. So I learned rock 'n' 



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roll from the ground up." 

During his year and a half at the Gold 
Bug, Herman changed his playing to meet 
the grueling demands of the job. He gave 
up the traditional grip to play with the butt 
end of the stick. Greenwich Village rock 
clubs did not subsidize sensitive percus¬ 

After 18 months at The Gold Bug and a 
total conversion to rock, Herman realized 
that he wasn't going to go any further in 
that situation. He left the club, joined 
another band with better players, and 
started to tour the region doing tough one- 

He soon found himself caught in 
another professional rut. The grueling life 
of one-night rock stands was taking its toll. 
At this point, fate stepped in with a call 
from Genya Ravan, a singer he'd worked 
with at The Gold Bug. Ravan was now 
teamed up with songwriters Michael Zager 
and Aram Schefren. She remembered 
Allen from the club and asked him to join 
their new band, Ten Wheel Drive. They 
had a recording contract with Polydor, so 
Herman, now about 22, finally broke into 
a band with some future. 

One of the band's songs, "Morning 
Much Better," became a hit in several 
southern states. In the New York area, the 
group was modestly successful, but in the 
South they were treated like stars. It was a 
good time for Herman: money, fun, and 
hard-hitting rock drumming. "I used logo 
on stage with my shirt off," he recalls with 
a huge smile. 

Despite the joys of bare-chested percus¬ 
sion, the limitations of the professional sit¬ 
uation began to emerge. He was still only 
an employee and would never get more 
than his weekly salary. He had also gotten 
married to his high school sweetheart. 
Allen brought his wife with him on the 
band's trips out of town. He needed 
another break; he needed to become a 
member of a band that would offer him a 
stake. That's when another important call 
came. This one was from guitarist Elliot 

Randall knew Herman from the early 
days and was now being managed by Rick 
Gunnel of the Stigwood Organization in 
the U.S. Gunnel handled John Mayall and 
was in a position to develop a new hot 
group. That hot group was Randall's 
Island, with which Allen played for a demo 
record. When the demo led to an album 
and a European tour, he quit Ten Wheel 

Randall's Island toured Europe as the 
opening act for John Mayall in major con¬ 
cert halls. It was a fabulous experience for 
the 24-year-old Herman. "We were 
treated like royalty in Europe," Allen 
roars with pleasure. The record didn't sell 
too well, but audiences found the eclectic 
group exciting. After the European trip, 
the band returned to the U.S. to open for 
Mayall on an American tour. Allen was 

getting a huge kick out of being a rock star 
when another fateful call reached the 
band’s hotel in the Midwest. 

Rick Gunnel was calling to ask if the 
band would like to do a Broadway show. 
The musicians roared with laughter at the 
idea. However, the next morning the idea 
seemed a little more appealing. They were, 
after all, obligated to do another record in 
New York. And it was going to be a rock 
'n' roll show. So maybe it wouldn't be such 
a bad thing, especially if it caught on. They 
said yes to the musical, which had the unu¬ 
sual name Jesus Christ Superstar. And 
thus began the second major transition in 
Allen Herman's career. 

The 1970 show was to begin with a con¬ 
cert tour followed by a Broadway run. The 
composer of Superstar. Andrew Lloyd 
Webber, was worried about using regular 
Broadway musicians for his rock work. He 
wanted a real rock band in the pit along 
with the 32-piece orchestra. Webber's con¬ 
nections to the Stigwood Organization led 
to Rick Gunnel and Randall's Island. 

Just before the concert tour, Allen 
briefly caught up with Morello again. He 
was able to squeeze in a few lessons with 
Brubeck's obsessively modest drummer. 
At the first lesson, they had this conversa¬ 
tion. "What do you want to study with me 
for?" Morello asked. "Obviously you can 

"I want to play like you," Herman 
replied. "What do you want to play like 
me for? I can't play." "Okay, I just want 
your hands. Give me your hands and I'll 
play like me." 

So Morello began teaching him the fun¬ 
damentals of his remarkable style. On the 
secret of Joe Morello's hands, Allen says, 
"The secret of Joe Morello's hands . . . 
there's no secret. It's a matter of work. It's 
a matter of doing it the right way, rudi- 
mentally. It's a rebound method. It's a 
relaxed, open-hand rebound method using 
as much of the natural rebound energy as 
possible, and not gripping the sticks—pro¬ 
jecting. First you build your wrists, and 
then your arms. After that if you want to 
build your fingers, you can do that. I 
already knew the material [the books 
Morello used]. I just didn't do it his way. 
So after playing drums for 12 years, I went 
back to playing with the metronome set at 
40. I couldn't believe it. He gave me the 
first lesson, and I couldn't do it. I couldn't 
make one stroke cleanly." 

The Superstar concert tour was a smash 
hit across the country, even drawing Bap¬ 
tist protestors at the theaters, a sure sign of 
a successful theatrical venture. The rock 
musicians were plucked from the road tour 
to play on Broadway. The Broadway show 
was panned by the critics, but on the 
strength of the tour and album sales, the 
production ran 22 months in New York 
beginning in 1971. So on his first Broad¬ 
way outing, Herman landed in a long-run¬ 
ning hit. However, he remembers the ten 


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sion at the first rehearsal between the 
Broadway pros and the young rockers. 
"They were all legit players," he recalls. 
"After the first hour, we took a break and 
one of them came over to me. ’Hey we 
were really worried, man,' he said. 'We 
didn't think you guys would be able to read 
or play or blend with an orchestra. But you 
guys can play! You sound great with the 
band!' " And so, Allen Herman became a 
member of the Broadway elite. 

Comfortably settled in a Broadway 
show, the members of Randall’s Island 
made their second album. It was released, 
but did not receive the backing and promo¬ 
tion which the musicians expected. After a 
while, they discovered that they were 
caught in one of those strange financial- 
artistic binds so common to the music 
industry. "We kept on bugging Elliot 
[Randall]. 'Alright, how are we going to 
sell the album being in a Broadway show? 
You have got to get us out on tour.' What 
we didn't realize was that we were more 
valuable to Stigwood if we stayed in the pit 
doing Superstar. They didn't want to 
spend all kinds of money trying to promote 
our album. So they never even took us out 
of the pit." The band stayed with Super- 
star and the album languished. It meant 
that Randall's Island never really worked 
again as a unit. 

Not that Broadway was such a bad life. 
Allen and the other musicians from the 
rock group were being paid generously 
above scale (about $380/week then), and 
Herman had the chance to renew his stud¬ 
ies with Morello. Indeed, he made up for 
lost time with fanatical practicing. But it 
made for a difficult playing period. During 
the day, he would try to rebuild his tech¬ 
nique along the principles of Morello's 
instruction. Then at night, he had to blast 
away on a rock score, virtually contradict¬ 
ing everything he had practiced earlier in 
the day. For several months, he was in a 
no-man's land of drum technique: He 
hadn't yet mastered Morello's concepts, 
but he was no longer practicing his hard- 
earned rock styles. Slowly, however, his 
control returned, and he found he had 
power and ability that he had never before 
possessed. "I began playing correctly. I 
was getting more sound. I was playing 
louder. I was using less energy. I was losing 
my callouses. I wasn't bleeding," he adds 
with a laugh. 

Two Broadway veterans who worked 
with Allen on his first show were drummer 
Hank Jaramillo and conductor Gordon 
Harrell. Jaramillo, who has worked con¬ 
stantly on Broadway since 1957, was 
impressed with Herman from the start. 
"He was very powerful—very energetic. 
And he had the ability to play in such dif¬ 
ferent styles." Harrell was equally taken 
with the new drummer's drive and tech¬ 
nique. In the next decade, Harrell called 
Herman for a number of shows which he 
conducted, including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely 

Hearts Club Band On the Road, Rockabye 
Hamlet, and Dancin'. 

Both Harrell and Jaramillo second Her¬ 
man's own opinion that he hit Broadway 
at just the right time with just the right 
skills. Hair had revolutionized musicals in 
1969. Then with such innovative produc¬ 
tions as Superstar, Let My People Come, 
Sgt. Pepper, and Inner City, the early '70s 
became a mad scramble on Broadway for 
rock- and blues-oriented shows. And here 
was Allen Herman right in the middle of it, 
with a Juilliard background, superb read¬ 
ing, ten years of heavy-duty rock gigs, and 
dynamite chops all under his belt. It was 
simple: Allen was an ideal drummer for 
Broadway for a whole decade. 

Once Herman had the chance to build a 
new technique through his studies with 
Morello, he made a discovery about drum 
technique: "Nobody really knows. The 
only person who knows is me. Sometimes 
in the show I felt absolutely horrible. I was 
dead tired, hardly got any sleep, didn't 
practice at all, didn't warm up, went in, 
played the show, and people came up and 
said, 'Wow, you sound great!' There were 
other times when I did six hours in the 
house, and my hands were red hot. And I'd 
come into the show and I'd be burning. I'd 
be waiting for someone to come over to 
me, and no one would say a thing. Then I 
realized that the technique has nothing to 
do with playing." 

He now understood what Joe Morello 
had been telling him all along. "Whatever 
I had, I walked into his [Morello's] room 
with it. He told me he didn't give me any¬ 
thing that was going to make any money 
for me or make me any better a player. All 
he was going to do was allow me to do what 
I do more comfortably and get more out of 
what I have already—just teach me how to 
translate what was in my head to my 
hands. And it was what was in my head 
that people were listening to, not what was 
inmy hands." 

He remembers discussing technique 
with a young drummer he met at a session 
in New York. The other guy impressed him 
quite a bit with his musicality and sensitiv¬ 
ity. His name was Steve Gadd. Allen 
recalls thinking, "If this kid stays in New 
York, I'm in trouble." Gadd did stay, but 
so did Herman, who remains a great 
admirer of Gadd's. 

After 22 months with Jesus Christ 
Superstar, Allen moved on to a series of 
rock 'n' roll or otherwise untraditional 
shows. Two of them were Let My People 
Come, a sexual musical, and Sgt. Pepper's 
Lonely Hearts Club Band On the Road. 
The latter show allowed Herman to 
develop a very personal side of his play¬ 
ing—what he calls "method drumming." 

He immersed himself in the Beatles: "I 
went out and bought every Beatles record I 
could. I literally copied Ringo's stuff note 
for note off the records. I had become 
Ringo Starr. I was a method drummer." 

Thus, like a "method" actor, Herman 
internalized his part so it became personal 
and natural. He also gained considerable 
admiration for Ringo. "I thought Ringo 
was a great player, but he wasn't a drum¬ 
mer. He played great stuff for the music, 
which is what I eventually had to learn to 
do. You have to play what fits the band, 
and Ringo was the master at that. He 
played exactly what was supposed to be 
played, and he didn't have one ounce of 

Gordon Harrell, who conducted and 
arranged Sgt. Pepper, was delighted with 
Allen's duplication of Ringo's style. Har¬ 
rell found this particularly intriguing given 
Herman's own highly sophisticated tech¬ 
nique. The show ran seven weeks in New 
York at the Beacon Theater, and both 
Harrell and Herman view the show as one 
of their best Broadway experiences. 
Indeed, Lennon and McCartney them¬ 
selves were happy with the results. 

A change in Herman's Broadway direc¬ 
tion occurred in 1975, when he joined A 
Chorus Line one week before its Off- 
Broadway opening. Suddenly, he had 
jumped from the new rock-oriented trend 
of musicals and landed in the Broadway 
mainstream. When the show opened, it 
was an immediate smash. Allen played on 
the original cast recording and moved with 
the production to the Broadway house 
where it is still playing today. 

Although the musical was filled with 
glitter and excitement, the drum part made 
only minimal demands on Herman's skills 
and imagination. He found himself in the 
odd position of being in a long-running hit 
but wishing he were elsewhere. So, he 
departed the show after three months on 

Fortunately, a great experience was 
waiting in the wings. This was Rockabye 
Hamlet, a rock version of Hamlet directed 
by Gower Champion. Allen was called by 
Gordon Harrell for this, and it was just 
what he wanted. He worked in a rehearsal/ 
development process for five months, an 
extraordinarily long experimental period 
by Broadway standards. "For Broadway, 
that was one of the best experiences I've 
had, because that was the longest prepro¬ 
duction period. I like the creative process 
more than just playing the show. To me the 
best part of the show is when you rehearse 
it." The production allowed him to play in 
an onstage rock band and also gave him 
the chance to use a ten-piece drumset with 
eight tom-toms. (Normally he uses one or 
two tom-toms in the pit. His personal set 
consists of a Ludwig 5 x 14 chrome snare, 
a Pearl 20" bass, and Pearl tom-toms rang¬ 
ing from 10" to 14" mounted on racks. His 
cymbals are Zildjians: a 22" ride, 20" 
crash, and 14" hi-hats on a Slingerland 
stand.) Regrettably, Rockabye's rich crea¬ 
tive period led to a run of only one week. 
Following that, Herman subbed at other 
shows, played Off-Broadway musicals, 




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It was easy tor Mel Gaynor to 
make the transition tram session 
work in London to playing 
drums fa the popular 
Scatish new music 
band Simple Minds 
because their song 
writing is "built 
around the 

Like many 
of the newer 
bands. Simple 
Minds' riff-based 
music alternates between 
dense and open textures as 
it pushes the audience along 
Like other modem electronic 
groups, they also use a heavily 
amplified sound to maintain the 
energy level and keep their 
audience involved 
'You could call us a Heavy 
Metal/New Wave band in terms 
of volume. We try to get the 
people plugged right into the 
concert instead of just sitting 
there and watching. Our music 
is very Vibe' oriented, it's a ‘get 
up and go' type of situation 
Very spontaneous 
"My drumming is mainly 
about power and putting things 
in the right context. You need 
a certain amount of power 
because it's on your shoulders, 
but you should also be flexible 
as far as ‘light and shade' in the 
music-as opposed to pound¬ 
ing away all the time. A drummer 

with power and definition comes 
across better" GaynoLs need for 
cymbals with exceptional 

volume, projection and 
durability are reflected 
in his choice of 

The Impulse 
has more 
because it's 
a harsher 
cymbal and 
Meis Live Set-Up it cuts better in really 

big halls. The Impulse Crash is 
ideal for ‘power crashes! I use 
A's for ‘fine tune' gigs because 
of their tonal qualities i like to 
incorporate K's into my live set 
because they also really cut a 
lot. I also use Chinas 
crash cymbals be¬ 
cause they give 
me different 
tonal colas, 
stick and bell 
sounds, plus 
they can 
really cut. 

I'd been 
using other 
cymbals for quite 
some time and 
they kept cracking 
because they're 
really a ‘quality’ 
bat They were very 
one-dimensional too 
Zildjians have a lot 
mae depth and 

character-each cymbal has an 
individual sound. And Zildjians 
don't break easy" 

The music of Simple Minds 
is structured so that Gayna 
has plenty of "breathing space 
in the music as opposed to just 
timekeeping. I play a la more 
‘gaps' than I used to A gap can 
be a fill or leaving a space in the 
music. It allows me to use all the 
colas in my kit 
"My approach to the kit is 
very physical, and the feel of a 
Zildjian is that it ‘speaks' rather 
than you just hitting the cymbal. 
You can actually hear a Zildjian 
Crash 'breathe' In fact, my 
producer Steve Lillywhite said 
that my Zildjians were the best 
cymbal sound he'd ever heard" 
Avedis Zildjian Company, 

Makers Since 1623. 
Longwater Drive, Nowell, 
Mass 02061 USA 

Mel Gaynor 

is with Simple Minds. 

and did a few showcases. And then came 

Director-choreographer Bob Fosse 
wanted to create a show that would be the 
summation of his long Broadway career. 
One point was clear: It would have lots of 
percussion. Gordon Harrell developed the 
show with Fosse, and called Allen in when 
the previous drummer left during 
rehearsals. Here at last was the perfect 
musical for Allen Herman. The diverse 
score ranged from Melissa Manchester 
rock 'n' roll to Edgar Varese's Ionisation 
and finally to Goodman/Krupa's "Sing, 
Sing, Sing." Harrell regards the score of 
Dancin' as the most demanding and excit¬ 
ing Broadway project he's had. He needed 
an entire orchestra of crack players. 
"Every chair was crucial to the show," he 

Harrell is quick to acknowledge that the 
drum part was a supreme challenge for a 
Broadway player. Just the memorization 
of 700 bars was a virtually unheard of 
requirement. The other four "Sing, Sing, 
Sing" soloists, who included trumpeter 
Lew Soloff, also memorized their parts. 
But to Harrell the greatest achievement by 
far was that Herman and the others so 
totally merged with the music that "the 
spirit of the Muse could visit them and let 
them reincarnate the original." 

For "Sing, Sing, Sing," Herman once 
again became a "method drummer," tak¬ 

ing Krupa as his model instead of Ringo 
Starr. He studied Krupa's unschooled 
technique and then used it within his own 
virtuosic abilities. His total involvement 
with the show extended to doing warm-up 
stretching exercises with the dancers 
before each performance. It all paid off. 
Harrell and Fosse were simply thrilled with 
what he did with the Krupa number, and so 
were the audiences. 

So complex was the drum book for Dan¬ 
cin ' that it took three months to break in a 
new sub. One of Allen's former students, 
Michael Epstein, describes the Dancin' 
drum part as "the hardest music I've ever 
seen." Epstein studied with Allen for sev¬ 
eral years beginning in the early '70s. 
Eventually, he broke into Broadway 
through his teacher, subbing for Herman 
in Sgt. Pepper. Epstein, now a steadily 
working Broadway player himself, is full 
of praise for Herman as a teacher, a 
player, and a person. "He's the most tal¬ 
ented, most dynamic drummer I know," 
said Michael. "He impressed discipline on 
me—the importance of playing with a 

In many ways, Dancin' was the culmina¬ 
tion of Allen Herman's decade on Broad¬ 
way. It ran for four years and three 
months, closing on June 27, 1982, which 
happened to be Allen's 35th birthday. "I 
hadn't realized it. That was the peak. I 
wasn't going to get another show that used 

me the way Dancin' could or gave me such 
a spot." 

After the show closed, he immediately 
joined Chita Rivera's nightclub act, an 
experience he savors for the association 
with Rivera. He found her one of the 
warmest and most generous people he's 
ever met in the business. But Herman's 
main focus became moving his career to a 
new level. What he now wanted was to get 
back to the excitement of rock 'n' roll, but 
on his own terms. This meant becoming a 
producer. He took his savings from Dan¬ 
cin' and put together a project he wanted 
to pursue—a rock version of Stravinsky's 
Rite Of Spring. At the very least, this 
would let him master the techniques of the 
studio and give him a sample to show the 
record companies what he could do as a 

He hired Peter Phillips to orchestrate 
the work for a rock quintet. He has known 
Phillips, a pianist, since they worked 
together in Superstar. Three other Broad¬ 
way players filled out the group: Jeff Ganz 
on bass, Don Rebic on Prophet V synthe¬ 
sizer, and Bernard Grobman on guitar. 
They did the first six minutes of the work, 
which would ultimately be 38 minutes on 
an album. 

The tape is exquisitely produced and 
brought generous compliments from the 
several dozen A&R men to whom Herman 
sent it. RCA Red Seal, the classical label, 
was interested in the idea. Unfortunately, 
they could not afford the cost of producing 
a full-scale rock album, so the project 
came to a halt. However, Allen's plans and 
determination continue unabated. One of 
those plans is developing new rock talent. 
To this end, he has a contract with singer 
Liza Hillyer, whose demo he is producing 
and playing on. He is also working with 
singers Denise Mim and Wayne Formica. 

He finds that producing offers a wider 
range of expression, control, and creative 
satisfaction. He will play on the sessions if 
it feels right, but if someone else would 
sound better, he'll use the other person. 
For instance, he would not mind a bit using 
that fellow named Gadd he met years ago. 
Another drummer he now admires is Phil 
Collins, who also extends his creative 
range through producing. 

So here stands Allen Herman at 37. He is 
reaching back to his rock 'n' roll roots and 
looking forward to new directions in pro¬ 
ducing. And in between those boundaries 
lies a decade of outstanding Broadway 
experience from which he can draw. 
"What I hope for is that I become so suc¬ 
cessful as a producer that I won't have time 
to play for anybody else but myself." 
Viewing the whole of his diverse experi¬ 
ence, he concludes, "I’ve now learned 
something about life that I learned a long 
time ago about drumming: There's no 
standing still. You either keep getting bet¬ 
ter or you get worse. You're always in 



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famous, our publicity program for the 
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At Pro-Mark, we devote a lot of time 
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Even if you just want to share some of 

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up! The faces will change each month of 
the year. 

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could be one! Fill out the attached entry 
form, tell us your story and send us your 

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help keep us in business. It's just another 
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millions of drummers who have made 
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Please complete this questionnaire and return to us at Pro- 
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by Bill Molenhof 

Chord Changes 

Before we extend our discussion of chord changes to include ten¬ 
sions and alterations, let's review some of the basic terms needed 
for harmonic understanding. In past articles, we have learned 
about the root, or one, of the chord, the third (either major or 
minor and one of the guide tones), thefifth (either perfect, dimin¬ 
ished or augmented), and the seventh (either major or minor and 
the other guide tone). We have discussed how shifting one guide 
tone half a step can make the chords change and how the bass 
function frequently plays the root and fifth of the chords. We have 
also looked at how a logical sequence of chords produces the 
framework for a musical phrase or segment in a tune and how a 
turnaround is used to build momentum and tension for a repetition 
or new material. Do you remember that a cadence is the point in a 
phrase where the harmonic motion reaches its conclusion or target 
sound? Hopefully, as you play in various situations, you will auto¬ 
matically hear these elements from working on the material in 
these articles. 

The following is a musical game that I practice to increase skill 
with altered chords. This phrase is an eight-bar sequence with a 
series of altered two (sub-dominant)—five (dominant) chords, one 
cadence, tonic resolution and one pivot chord which either repeats 
the phrase or takes the music on to the next eight-bar phrase. 

II: d-7**-' 

G 71*9 

C-7 1,5 I 7k>9 


Kb? 1*9 


F7+5 :|| 

: ii-7^ s 


11 - 7 I* 1 V7l*9 

ii -7^5 

V7 b? 

1 tonic 

• IB 


This phrase can repeat, or the F7 + 5 can function in the normal 
V7-1 fashion, as a "pivot," and go on to: 

|j: 7 t5 j I‘l7l>9 | At-7l> 5 1)1*71.9 j l-#-7 l, 5 


Iimaj7 Db7+Sl 

This phrase can also repeat, or the D'7 + 5 can function in the nor¬ 
mal V7-I fashion and go on to: 

111 l-jf-7^ 5 B7b9 | K-7^ J A7b9 j D-7^5 | c?|>9 



1*9 • 
+5 * . 

Then this phrase can repeat, or the A7 + 5 can function in the nor¬ 
mal V7-1 fashion and take us back to the top! 

Looking back at the first example, D-75 tells us how to build the 
chord. D is the root. The (dash) tells us to use a minor third, 
which is F. If there is no indication, we assume we are to use a 
perfect fifth, which would be A, but the " symbol tells us to flat 
the 5 (lower the fifth degree one half step), which makes it A . The 
"7" means minor 7, one half step lower than the diatonic scale step 
7 in the D scale. So our chord tones are D, F, A, C. 

G79 tells us that G is the root of that chord. There is no so 
we are to use a major third, which is B. This time we are not told to 
flat the fifth, so we know it takes a perfect fifth, which is D. Again, 
"7" means minor seventh, so instead of the major seventh, F, we 
have F. The ninth is the first tension note above the chord tone 
sequence (built in thirds) G, B, D, F, A. The ninth turns out to be 
the second degree of the scale one octave higher. In this case, 9 
means lower the diatonic ninth or second one half step from A to 
A. The chord tones are G, B, D, F, A. 

To make the chord change from D-75 to G79, only two notes 
must move. Which are the two? The new root G must be played, 
and the guide tone C moves to the major third, B. D, F, and A are 
common to both chords. It's not nearly as difficult as it looks at 
first glance; the trick is knowing which notes to move. If you spend 
ten minutes every day on a ii-7 5—V79, progression, at the end of 
the month you will have a grasp of all of them. 

The last chord of the sequence, F7 + 5, tells us that F is the one, 
A is the major third, and E is the flat seven. The " + " sign means 
to augment or raise the fifth degree of the chord one half step. The 
usual fifth degree in an F scale is C, so if we raise the fifth one half 
step, we haveC". 

Try to learn the sound of these chord alterations. Frequently, 
colorful harmonies are employed at momentum/tension moments 
in music, and your drumming should respond in kind. As always, 
work on this one step at a time. Learn the right-hand guide tone 
part, then the left-hand bass function. Break the phrase down into 
two-bar sections. Start well below the tempo, and gradually work 
up to the indicated speed. Use the metronome at a variety of tem¬ 
pos. Practice on the keyboard until you can hear and remember the 
chord progressions away from the instrument, especially while you 
are playing the drum part. Hearing in your mind's ear, and think¬ 
ing through these chords will develop your listening ability and 
increase the musicality of your drumming. 

The following eight-bar phrases contain two of the progressions discussed in this article, shown in written-out form, including accompa¬ 
nying bass notes and guide tones. Also shown is a drumset pattern which complements the rhythms played in the progressions. 

Part 2 

A * 

■ m ^ 

♦ ! * ♦ ♦ J ♦ 

r x 





- -A ...» 


r* —-— n 

□ r 

x r F x ^ 


7 r *• 

^ -J 



by Roy Bums 

The Drummer's Dream 

A good friend of mine, named Ron Behr, 
once asked me if I had ever experienced the 
"drummer's dream." I wasn't sure if I had 
or not until he explained a recurring dream 
that he has had for some time. As he 
described it, I realized that I'd had a simi¬ 
lar dream for years. In my case, it goes like 
this: I arrive at a very important job or 
concert and begin to set up my drums. Try 
as I might, I cannot seem to complete the 
process. Pieces are missing or I can't find 
them, and the job is getting closer and 
closer. Finally, the band begins to play, 
and I still haven't completed the drum 
setup. I am always relieved to awaken and 
realize that it was just another dream. 

Ron told me that he had begun to ask his 
students if they ever had similar dreams. In 
a great many cases, they reported having 
dreams of this sort. Likewise, when I men¬ 
tioned the idea for this article to MD Fea¬ 
tures Editor Rick Mattingly, he described a 



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drummer's dream that he once had: "It 
seems that I was hired to play a casual. I 
was the first musician to arrive at the job, 
and I started setting up my drums. Sud¬ 
denly the rest of the band walked in, and 
they were all wearing tuxes. I had on a tan 
sports coat. I was really mad at myself for 
forgetting to ask what I was supposed to 
wear. I don't recall anything like that ever 
happening to me, but I guess in my subcon¬ 
scious I worry that it might." 

It does seem that the drummer's dream 
is usually based on fear. The following 
describes another such dream that I have 
been told about: "I was hired to play a 
dance at an exclusive country club. I like to 
be early in order to set up my drums with¬ 
out being in a sweat over it. However, I 
can't seem to find the country club. I ask 
for directions and people keep giving me 
conflicting ones. The time for the job to 
start is getting closer and closer, and I am 
getting more and more worried. When I 
finally find the place, everyone else is 
already playing, and they give me dirty 
looks as I hurriedly set up the drums." 

A dream that show drummers have on 
occasion concerns a forgotten piece of 
equipment. For example: Rehearsals are 
over and it's opening night. The conductor 
walks over to the drummer and says, "I 
think I would like to hear timpani mallets 
on the tom-tom in the opening rather than 
sticks." No problem. That is, until you 
look in your stick bag and there are no tim¬ 
pani mallets. You say to yourself, "I know 
they were in there. Perhaps I left them in 
the dressing room." A mad dash to the 
dressing room follows. Suddenly, you hear 
the orchestra start without you. If you are 
lucky, you wake up at this point. 

Another dream that occurs from time to 
time is based on a faulty piece of equip¬ 
ment. You're right in the middle of your 
featured drum solo at an important con¬ 
cert, and something happens to your foot 
pedal. Suddenly, it just stops. The spring 
has broken or, worse yet, the beater rod 
has gone through the bass drum head. I've 
actually had both experiences, and you 
really do feel helpless. The only time you 
feel more helpless is when this happens in a 
dream. You feel as though you can't move. 
It is a frustrating feeling. 

Then there is the dream in which, for 
some mysterious reason, your hands and 
feet will not work. It's as though you have 

forgotten how to play. You know what to 
do, but your body has forgotten how to do 
everything. This is, perhaps, the most dis¬ 
concerting dream of all. I have only spo¬ 
ken to a couple of drummers who have had 
this one. It usually precedes a big, impor¬ 
tant situation. 

Another dream that plagues some peo¬ 
ple is the one about forgetting your music. 
You are in a big band or orchestra, the con¬ 
cert is about to start, and your music is 
missing. This is a common dream for 
young musicians in school bands who 
carry their music back and forth from the 
school to the house for practicing. 

For young drummers in school march¬ 
ing bands, the big fear is forgetting or mis¬ 
placing your sticks. The band is just about 
ready to go. You put your sticks down for 
a moment while you adjust something, and 
when you reach down to pick them back 
up, they are missing. If you are lucky, a 
friend is just playing a joke on you. When 
this happens in a dream, it seems that you 
never find the sticks in time. 

Often, these dreams are based on actual 
experiences. In my case, the dreams are 
based on a couple of different things that 
happened to me. When I was in my teens, I 
went to an out-of-town dance job and for¬ 
got my trap case. It was very humiliating, 
because I was working with older musi¬ 
cians and they didn't let up on me the 
whole evening. Another time, when I was 
on Benny Goodman's band, we were in 
Europe and I overslept (or the hotel forgot 
my wake-up call, depending on your point 
of view). I got to the concert only moments 
before it started and only had time to set up 
part of my kit. I played the first tune with 
only a snare, bass drum, hi-hat and ride 
cymbal. In between songs I added the 
other drums and cymbals a piece at a time. 
Benny never noticed, and by the time I had 
to play "Sing, Sing, Sing," I had the entire 
kit set up. 

Whether these dreams are based on 
actual experiences, or simply some fear 
about what could go wrong, they reflect 
the pressure that all drummers are under 
relative to equipment and being on time. 
So if you have had similar drummer's 
dreams, at least you now know that you 
are not alone. We all seem to go through 
this experience at some time or another. 
Suffice to say that it's just another part of 
the difficult business of being a drummer. * 



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“The sound of the 
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A.J. Pero 

Twisted Sister 

li:iO<> Rush St.. So. El Monte, CA HlTo.'! 

Bozzio continued from pane 12 

which is sad for them. I don't think all his 
audience does that. But, as in every band's 
audience, there is certainly an amount of 
individuals who just don't look deep 

RM: I guess the question is, how do you 
balance trying to be responsible? You have 
the two extremes of receiving a letter from 

someone whose life you may have saved, 
but also look out in the audience and see 
someone who is wrecked and who is 
dressed like you are. 

TB: I don't know. There are a lot of people 
who come to see the spectacle, but they 
probably wouldn't come a second time if 
there was no substance, and there is that 
substance. They get more out of it than 
just the spectacle. But, on the other hand, 
why would people want to cover their eyes 
to the spectacle? It's a wonderful thing. 
Art and visualizations of imageries are 
great mediums. I think that, as long as 
we're clear about those things in whatever 
statements we make and what we're saying 
lyrically, there will not be a mistake about 
it. I can't go out there and stop every kid 
who wants to come to one of our concerts 
from doing that. But I will go on record as 
saying that none of us take any drugs. 
Missing Persons did not happen acciden¬ 
tally, and we wish that everyone wouldn’t 
take those drugs. 

Our audiences, I would say, are fairly 
drug free. They're also well behaved and 
they have a great respect for what we're 
doing. A lot of them realize the depth of 
musicianship that's going on up there and 
respect that it's more than just a spectacle. 
Our die-hard fans really know what's 
going into the band, what's behind it, what 
we're talking about in interviews, what we 
stand for and what we're doing with our 
lives. I think that we're making a very posi¬ 
tive statement and I think that our fans are 
positive people who can relate to that. 

RM: Moving on to your drumming, Ed 
Mann once described your style as "Every 
note I play will be the last thing I'm 
remembered for." 

TB: [laughs] I guess he means I have a lot 
of conviction. 

RM: That's how I interpreted it. The pic- 


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ture that went through my mind when he 
said that was seeing you with Zappa, and 
you were literally jumping off your seat 
with each backbeat. There are things on 
Rhyme & Reason where it doesn't sound as 
if you're laying into the drums the same 
way. It's the same chops and yet a different 
texture—more finesse, maybe. 

TB: I don't know. Possibly it's just my 
growth and development. We did try to 
make this album much better sounding 
than any record that we have ever done. 
It's sort of a combination of a myriad of 
sounds. It's Simmons triggering Linn, dig¬ 
ital sounds blended with the analog elec¬ 
tronics, my Paiste cymbals and some 
Tama drums and some Roto Toms —all 
kinds of stuff blended together in there to 
make the sum of what it is. I'm really 
happy with the album. It's exactly what I 
wanted. It's possibly more polished than 
the other albums that we had done before, 
and that has to do with the production and 
with Bruce's engineering. He's the best 
engineer in the world and he has a knack 
for capturing our sound. 

Missing Persons makes everything work 
by developing an identity. Each of us 
develops a little part of the arrangement 
that has an identity all its own—that in and 
of itself stands up—and you could listen to 
that and gain enjoyment, satisfaction, and 
possibly be captured by it, just by itself. 
Hence all the little guitar lines, and all the 
textures from the synthesizers. There are 
millions of little parts going on, and 
they're all interwoven. If you don't have 
an engineer like Bruce Swedien who can 
take that dense a track and make each part 
audible, it turns into a soup and kind of a 
mush. That cleanliness, that precision, 
that pristine quality is something that we 
went for on this record. 

Possibly it's also just part of the elec¬ 
tronic sound. One does associate the sound 
of electronic drums with drum machines, 
and the machines that had heretofore 
played them. Therefore, one has to play a 
little bit more mechanically. One has to be 
a little bit more careful of the time. You 
can't be as loose, because if you are, it just 
sounds wrong, like a machine with a bro¬ 
ken wire. So that's possibly where the dif¬ 
ference comes from. That, once again, gets 
into the seven veils of Missing Persons. 
You don't really get the whole impact 
unless you see the band live, hear the 
music, read the lyrics, talk to us in inter¬ 
views, and see the videos. Each thing is a 
totally different art form. You don't get 
the full impact unless you experience all 
those things. When I play live, it is still my 
same technique. 

RM: I was listening to the drum parts and 
thinking, "This guy's not just sitting there 
playing a beat. This is actually an arranged 
part of the song." 

TB: Right. We have just solidified our 
sheet music deal. This year there should be 
some Missing Persons songbooks coming 

out. They will have every iota of every 
arrangement on there. The same kind of 
perfection you get from the production 
and everything else we do, we'll put into 
that endeavor as well. It's yet another 
aspect. We'll be making sure that all those 
little guitar parts, keyboard parts, bass 
parts and vocal inflections—as much as we 
can write out some of the strange things 
that Dale does—and my drum parts will all 
be written out. 

We all try to do something that stretches 
the traditional roles of the instrument. 
We're not a traditional rock band in the 
sense that we have the drummer keeping 
"the beat," the bass player playing the 
root notes, the rhythm guitar player play¬ 
ing chords, and the lead guitar player hold¬ 
ing back until his little place to improvise 
freely over the chord changes. None of 
that is inherent in Missing Persons' music. 
It's more like we've tried to get away from 
the traditional roles of the drums, the bass, 
the guitar, and the synthesizer. All these 
little things are used more in concepts deal¬ 
ing with textures, colors and melodic 
expression, but while still holding down a 
corner of the function that needs to be held 
down. The beat has got to be there or else 
people are not going to relate to it. So the 
beat is there, but there's all this other stuff 
too that musicians are interested in. Yet, 
on the other hand, it's never something 
that people can't relate to on every level. In 

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other words, you don't have to be a musi¬ 
cian to appreciate Missing Persons, but if 
you area musician, you appreciate Missing 
Persons even more. It's that kind of 
approach from the guitar as well. Warren 
has never played guitaristic lines. And I 
write most of the keyboard parts. That 
kind of approach—whatever my approach 
is, from majoring in music, from my com¬ 
positional development and from what¬ 
ever I've developed over the years—is not 
the way a keyboard player per se would 
come in and play a part that would fit in the 
Missing Persons sound. It's a very inter- 
modified and intricate reweaving and revi¬ 
talization of the traditional roles. 

RM: Ken Scott told us that for Spring Ses¬ 
sion M. you came in and, without even a 
reference track, laid down all of the drum 
parts straight through. He was remarking 
that he wasn't even splicing things. You 
played it from start to finish and had it 
down. Did you do the same thing on 
Rhyme & Reason ? 

TB: No. Rhyme & Reason was a different 
variation on the same approach. What I 
had done before I was able to do because I 
wrote all the music and had worked out all 
these parts, but this time, just in working 
with Bruce, his techniques were a little dif¬ 
ferent. So what we would do was either put 
a LinnDrum track down, or play with the 
LinnDrum track and the whole band at 
first. I just played my drum part down, 
then immediately bass, guitar, keyboard 
and rough vocals were put on, so we had a 
general idea of what the whole song was 
going to sound like from square one. If we 
had kind of fumbled in the dark with layer 
upon layer, when we got to the end we 
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left for the best part, which we were saving 
to put on last. 

This was a great way to work, because 
we really knew pretty much where we 
stood with a track from day one. Hence, 
we used the LinnDrum, the Drumulator 
and sync tracks. We had two 16 tracks and 
a 24 track all synced up together. The way 
we worked would allow each individual 
player to come in and fill up a whole reel of 
tape that could then be bounced down to a 
work track on yet another reel. Say it was 
all drums: That would all be bounced 
down to one track of drums on a fresh reel 
of 16-track tape, which, by the way, has 
30% more oxide per track to get a much 
fatter sound. Then Warren would come in 
and fill up 16 tracks of guitar—not clutter¬ 
ing the tracks, but allowing us to put on the 
parts we had envisioned, because we 
worked everything out in preproduction. 
For two months, we wrote all this music. I 
don't think a note of it changed when we 
went into the studio. We just went for the 
best sounds and the best performances. 

We don't leave anything to chance while 
we're in the studio. If wonderful things 
happen, well and good, but otherwise 
we're pretty well prepared. Then Warren 
would have the opportunity to record 
tracks in stereo—again a beefier sound, a 
more high-quality sound for whatever part 
was there. That was the wonderful differ¬ 
ence. You have all these tracks being uti¬ 
lized and these three machines humming, 
purring, and talking to each other, totally 
in sync. It was just a great way to work. 
Little by little, rather than being surprised 
with a new part, we were surprised by what 
a great sound we could get, and how this 
sound was so much better than the rough 
version we put down live. It was being built 
from that standpoint, rather than kind of 
like building a wall without first knowing 
how high you're going to go, and knowing 
that there's a tree in the way that may pre¬ 
vent you from building it any higher. A 
track can only get so thick. Before you 
know it, the three frequency ranges you're 
dealing with—high, mid and low—are 
going to get cluttered up with one sound 
source or another, and pretty soon they'll 
start to step on each other's toes. That, of 
course, can be a wonderful effect, as in the 
case of heavy metal and guitar distortion 
and room ambience and stuff, or it can be a 
devastating effect. On this record, we 
wanted to have that clarity. 

RM: Were any of the Linn tracks used on 
the final mix? 

TB: Yeah, all kinds of things were used. I 
have no qualms about saying I used the 
LinnDrum. I think it's great, and I think 
any drummer who thinks it's stupid is 
being trivial and not very farsighted at all. 
This is a wonderful machine that was 
invented to help a drummer. In the old 
days, I couldn't stand going into the studio 
and doing track after track trying to get the 
right track all by myself. I would try to 

make sure that I didn't breathe wrong or 
didn’t adjust my seat in the middle of a hi- 
hat beat, because that could put a little 
dent in the time feel, and I would have to 
live with that dent every time I heard it on 
the radio. I know exactly what I want, so 
why not program it and have the machine 
do it? Of course, I've worked it out live. 
There's no problem with me playing it and 
executing it when we go on the road. But 
here's this great machine that saves hun¬ 
dreds of thousands of dollars in studio 
time by making it possible to get it perfect 
right then. It's no different from the way I 
would want to play it if I could play it per¬ 
fectly. Depending on what the circum¬ 
stances are, I may not be able to play it 
perfectly on a certain day. It also frees me 
up for working with the sound, which is so 
important. Once I've gotten the idea for 
what the part should be, the sound is every¬ 
thing. It's no longer some vague kind of 
thing hanging in the ether that one calls 
"the feel.” It's different than that. Of 
course, feel and all these other things are 
definitely valid, but to me the LinnDrum is 
a very valid instrument. 

I worked on this album just about every 
way you could work. There are acoustic 
rims, toms, percussion, timbales and my 
Paiste cymbals, including the double cym¬ 
bals with the little bells. Stuff like that was 
all stuck in there. Then we had the Sim¬ 
mons drums going into the trigger-in of the 
Linn, and the digital recordings of real 
tom-toms that are available in the Linn¬ 
Drum, I've had some special chips blown 
for my own sounds. Blending those 
together gives the Simmons a little bit of a 
transient and a warmth that maybe they 
don't have by themselves. Then there were 
straight-ahead analog Simmons electronic 
sounds that I tried very hard to be subtle 
with and sophisticated with—not to make 
them be the Syndrums of the '80s. I didn't 
want to be too obtuse with those sounds, 
because that's something that one has to be 
careful with. But then that's the beauty of 
electronic devices. They all really have— 
just like an old snare drum or a K. Zildjian 
cymbal—their identity and character, and 
they can do something that nothing else 
can do. Like the Mini-Moog, for instance, 
has a great, warm, fat bass sound and 
those oscillators cannot be duplicated by 
any of the newer synthesizers that can do 
other wonderful things. You have things 
that can be done on a Prophet V that other 
machines can't do. They all have their own 
little identities. You learn where the flavor 
is—what you can get out of an electronic 
device and how it's going to really perform 
at its peak—how to get the optimum 
results out of it. With all these things work¬ 
ing together, I've been able to come up 
with this sound. 

Of course, I can recreate it live on my 
new drumset, which basically is a dream 
come true. It's like a bad dream that 
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe might have had 



a« start© 

dvJ UhBe9 a ' T ' P ' 


origina' r»y'° n 

ti p drum shcK. 

when trying to design a drumset. It's influ¬ 
enced by the Bauhaus architects and their 
furniture, and it's sculpturally coming 
from that kind of space. It's also coming 
from the minimalism idea—smoothness of 
line and the minimal amount of structure 
to keep the function happening. There¬ 
fore, I have one bar in front of me that's 
comparable to the whole drumset that I 
used to have. It was a big, giant drumset, 
and I had to reach way the heck over my 
right shoulder, lean back and get off bal¬ 
ance to play the floor tom, and then way 
the hell over on the left side to hit a crash 
cymbal. All those things are now brought 
within three feet. The individual pads have 
three sound sources on them, or more in 
many cases, which are extensions of a nor¬ 
mal drum. I've got an outer rim that has a 
transducer in it, a pad playing surface that 
has a transducer in it, and then a near rim 
that has a transducer in it. Say a certain 
pad would be a tom-tom: The far rim 
might be a stick-across-a-rim sound—kind 
of a very dicky, sticky sound—then the 
pad itself would have the normal tom-tom 
sound, and the near rim would have a rim- 
shot sound. The same thing happens with 
the cymbals. Suppose I want a bell on top, 
a ping sound on the pad, and then a crash 
sound on the near rim. Anything I would 
want can happen. I simply record whatever 
sounds I want, have them transferred from 
analog audio tape into digital information, 
save it on a disk, and by calling up the 
memory, I'm able to have whatever drum- 
set I want wherever I want it on this set. 

I haven't got the computer end of it 
worked out yet; I've got some business 
deals I really can't talk about that may be 
in the offing on that. But what I'm doing 
initially is using it to trigger my Simmons 
drums, and it's also wired to trigger two 
units that have 16 channels of whatever 


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digital chips I want to put in there, called 
the J.L. Cooper Sound Chest. 

RM: How many different sounds do you 
have in that kit at any one time? 

TB: It's basically 32 sounds, but 14 of 
those sounds are coupled with Simmons 
sounds. Then each one of those sounds has 
four different Simmons presets, if I so 
desire. So that's where it gets kind of com¬ 
plicated. But at any one time, I can have 32 
different sounds happening. I've got the 
toms, the kick and snare, four of the cym¬ 
bals and the hi-hats doubled with the Sim¬ 
mons. My hi-hat pedal is a combination of 
the Simmons hi-hat, which uses a photo 
cell to close the sound, and the J.L. 
Cooper pedal, which is a simple switch clo¬ 
sure. Both are built into my hi-hat pedal to 
work simultaneously. I also have my own 
digital percussion sounds, which I re¬ 
corded in the studio: bells, gongs, cow¬ 
bells, etc. 

One thing I might add that I think a lot 
of drummers might be sort of caught up in 
is this: One of the things that the Simmons 
people rave about is the ability to have a 
variety of preset drum sounds when you go 
on stage. But you know, in a live situation, 
that's really an unpractical thing because 
the house mixer EQ's for one good sound 
and that's the sound that's going to work 
in that hall. If you change sounds for every 
song, that's really going to leave your 
sound engineer in kind of an awkward 
position, because what sounds good to you 
through your playback system isn't exactly 
what is being heard out in the house and it 
isn't exactly what works in the whole mix. 
So the capability to have a lot of different 
sounds isn't necessarily a great attribute 
for a live performance. In a lot of ways, it 
can be kind of a hinderance. 

My situation was just going for the 
sound that I really wanted. I got it in the 
studio and put it in there. If I want to 
change from tour to tour, from week to 
week, or whatever, I can do that by putting 
in different chips, but to change from song 
to song really throws the mixer a curve. I 
could end up with really valuable parts of 
my drumkit, like my kick and snare, being 
absent from the mix, by changing. 

RM: Are you ever changing any of the 32 
sounds from song to song? 

TB: No, but I do have an effects rack. I 
really had a lot of problems with that on 
the tour. It went back to L.A. about four 
times. All kinds of little quirky things 
would happen with it, but I finally got all 
the little quirks out of it electronically. I 
had to determine how hard I could hit the 
thing because the transients that would 
come off the kit would be really intense and 
they tended to fry it. So, I got my levels all 
straightened out on that and now it's 
working wonderfully! 

I have a Korg digital delay—a great little 
' digital delay that has nine different presets 
and I can get anything from flange or cho¬ 
rus phasing to real funny, almost vocoder- 

type sounds out of it. I also have a ring 
modulator and a device called a VCF that's 
used to achieve sample and hold types of 
filtering effects, as well as phasers and pitch 
transposers. I can kick those in and out at 
appropriate moments. 

RM: There's no end to the possibilities. I 

TB: Yeah, it's wide open. 

RM: Since all of your pads look the same, 
how long did it take you to memorize 
which pad was which sound? 

TB: Well, it was something I really didn't 
have to memorize, because I took the vis¬ 
ual layout of my normal drumset and just 
condensed everything. It's exactly the 
same layout but in a smaller format. So in 
essence, it was no big deal. I did feel a little 
bit of awkwardness when I first started 
playing the Simmons. It was just 14 of 
these black pads there and it was hard 
knowing what was what. So I just put them 
in the position that they used to be in, and 
after a while, I knew what they were. 

RM: An interesting quality that those add 
is a sense of mystery. With a regular drum- 
set, you can look at it and pretty much 
know what sounds the drummer has to 
choose from. But when I saw Missing Per¬ 
sons live, I never quite knew what sound 
was going to come out of your kit next. 

TB: Yeah, I guess that's part of the magic. 
A lot of people are quite freaked out by 
that because it's almost like looking at a 
keyboard if you aren't a piano player— 
what note means what?—or like looking at 
a typewriter keyboard if you're not a typ¬ 
ist. For me, it was really nothing. I've got 
my five toms, and the snare and the other 
little sounds laid out in the most logical 
fashion, just as if I had set up an acoustic 
set. After a few weeks of dealing with it, 
you just know where everything is. You get 
that mental, visual image. It's actually a 
lot easier to play than any other drumset 
because you don't have to lose your bal¬ 
ance. You don't have to reach that far and 
throw your timing off or anything like that. 

Having a pad that's about 4" x 6" is 
really not a problem for me, because I've 
been very disciplined in my practice as far 
as my aim is concerned. Plus, there's not a 
rim separating the pads to get hung up on, 
so I can play really fast. I can do all kinds 
of things that were hitherto physically very 
demanding and/or impossible. 

The other thing is that I designed a bass 
drum pedal with Wayne Yentis and Arndt 
Anderson, who fabricated it and also did 
some of the engineering design work. Our 
pedal uses sort of a cam action, and is no 
bigger than, say, a wah-wah pedal. It has a 
striker that feels very light and very fast, 
that hits a transducer. So no more bass 

The pedals have just been a dream. They 
were broken at one point, and for two days 
on the tour I played the old pedals, which 
triggered Simmons pads. It was just like 
going back to the Stone Age. These new 















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pedals are just so light, and so responsive, 
and so fast. They're just fantastic. The 
thing I really can't wait for is, in a few 
years, when kids start to play them, they're 
not going to have to go through the muscu¬ 
lar aches and pains that I had to go through 
to try to play fast. Their ideas are going to 
be able to come forward more easily and 
they're not going to be impeded by tech¬ 
nique. With my pedals, it's effortless to 
play really fast and really accurately. I 
believe I will be manufacturing and mar¬ 
keting them in the near future. 

RM: Even though you used a combination 
of acoustic and electronic drums on 
Rhyme & Reason, you only used your elec¬ 
tronic set on the tour. 

TB: In most cases, when you talk about 
amplifying and electrifying music over a 
public address system, the best way to go is 
with direct electronics. You get less leak¬ 
age. It's like the difference between playing 
a tape at a concert, and when the band 
comes on, all the clarity goes right out the 
window because all these things are kind of 
muddling within each other. You've got 
drums leaking into the lead vocalist's mic' 
and the cymbals leaking into the bass drum 
mic's, and all these problems that are kind 
of a nightmare and don't make for a very 
clear sound in concert. Those problems as 
well as feedback problems are all elimi¬ 
nated with electronic drums. 

RM: Do you think that acoustic drums and 
cymbals are on the way out? 

TB: No, I think they're like God almighty: 
They've always been and they always will 
be. [laughs] There's nothing that can 
replace the energy—the primitive, raw 
expression—that one gets from playing 
acoustic drums and acoustic cymbals. It's 
a beautiful thing in and of itself, but so are 
electronics, and that just happens to be 
what I'm dealing with now. Who knows? 
Maybe next year I'll throw it all away and 
go back to acoustic drums. I don't know, 
but I'm certainly not going to limit myself 
in any way, shape or form. 

RM: I sometimes wonder if we'll ever 
reach the point where the only reason they 
will make acoustic drums and cymbals will 

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be just for that brief moment it takes to 
record the sounds digitally and put them 
into a machine. 

TB: I doubt it. There are so many wonder¬ 
ful sculptural aspects to a drumset, and 
such energy that comes off it. A lot of 
drummers will go to a club or a concert, 
and they'll just sit there and admire the 
drumset—how one cymbal goes up high on 
this side, and how maybe the toms are at 
this strange angle. There is really a lot of 
satisfaction to that, and there is a lot of 
aggression and energy that comes straight 
off that, which goes beyond the audio 
range. That obviously has fallen short in 
electronics, but there is a whole other 
beauty in electronics. I've always been the 
kind of player who can be demonstrative, 
so I can put out those vibrations myself. 
The electronic drumset enables me to be 
seen even more and to get that energy 
across uninhibited even more. 

The end result of all of this is something 
that I've pioneered from day one: You 
have a drummer out there who is visible for 
all the world to see—to put any kind of 
personal expression into the music visu¬ 
ally. Drummers shouldn't have to be hid¬ 
den behind this barrage of cymbals and 
tom-toms and bass drums, which kind of 
inhibits all that energy and action from 
getting across to the audience. That's 
something I've always kind of stood for. 
I've always thought drummers should 
have that connection and should be able to 
get their visual image across. Now they can 
do that. 

RM: When you're playing, how much of 
the jumping up and so forth is visual, and 
how much of it is actually related to your 

TB: That's a hard question. It's not some¬ 
thing that's contrived, but I don’t really 
know what it ultimately does if you aren't 
looking at me. It's just my expression. 
That's how much I feel it. 

RM: Do you look the same way playing in 
the studio as on stage? 

TB: Obviously not. When you reach for 
those kinds of extremes, you sacrifice con¬ 
trol. Control is something that can be sac¬ 
rificed for emotion and excitement in a live 
performance situation, but not in the stu¬ 
dio. One has to temper oneself a little bit, 
because if I were to stand up and sit down, 
who knows what that would sound like 
with live mic's. And of course, the time 
might suffer a little bit. Maybe it wouldn't. 
Who knows? I just never felt that way in 
the studio. There's something about the 
interaction between a live audience and a 
performer that pushes my limits beyond 
what I would do in a studio. 

RM: I'm wondering if people could be mis¬ 
led when they see some of your physical 
gestures and might get the idea that you're 
actually using your whole body to hit a 

TB: Well, in essence I am. You can't deny 
that energy. It's there and that wind up has 

definitely got something to do with the end 
result, which is what's communicated to 
the audience. 

RM: Drummers who play hard have com¬ 
plained about wrist and arm pains from 
hitting the original Simmons pads. What 
are your pads made of? 

TB: Some are steel; some are aluminum; 
some are bulletproof plastic. 

RM: Have you had any physical problems 
from laying into your pads the way you 

TB: Knowing how to hit a drum correctly 
is one of the things I learned from my 
teacher. Chuck Brown, up in the Bay 
Area, which I'm really grateful for. I 
couldn't see it at the time, but he made me 
spend a lot of hours studying the physics of 
the arm, the biology involved and what 
actually is going on, and training me to 
release upon impact so that all of that ten¬ 
sion is not absorbed in tendons in the arm, 
wrist, elbow or fingers. There's a release 
when I hit. 

It goes back to something as simplistic as 
Elmer Fudd in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, 
chasing Bugs Bunny through a petrified 
forest, taking out his ax and going 
"Whack," the bunny ducking, and Elmer 
Fudd striking a petrified tree—all that 
vibration and "Boooooong"—and possi¬ 
bly he cracks and crumbles to bits and 
pieces, [laughs] That, in essence, is what's 
going to happen if you don't release upon 
impact. So as much as I crank up and 
whack something, there's a follow- 
through and a release so all of that energy 
goes back the other way. My fingers are 
loosened so that the stick can rebound and 
come back up ready to be pushed down 

That whole period of my life really 
trained me for what's happening now, 
indirectly and unbeknownst to Chuck or 
myself, because we didn't know that 
drums would take on that aspect. But then 
again, a cymbal has always been a very 
hard thing, a hi-hat has been a very ungiv¬ 
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play this. It doesn’t feel like a piano." But 
then you have an artist and a genius like 
Herbie Hancock who never attempted to 
play a Fender Rhodes like an acoustic 
piano, but instead developed a concept 



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and a style for expressing himself on that 
instrument that was never thought of 
before. He developed a whole new thing 
out of that—playing very sparsely and 
using that loose touch and that inarticulate 
kind of feel to the benefit of the music and 
the benefit of his expression. That's what 
one has to do with electronic drums. You 
have to be open-minded enough and hope¬ 
fully have a good enough teacher who is 
going to explain those kinds of things to 

Even if you play acoustic drums, you 
have to know what you're doing or else 
you're going to ultimately hurt yourself. 
But when I market my drums, I think I'll 
try to take that into consideration. For 
myself, it doesn't bother me. I've practiced 
on very hard rubber pads because of 
Chuck Brown for years. I've worked with 
mirrors, making sure that the path of my 
stick was exactly straight, along with the 
most physically efficient way of getting the 
stick to go up and down according to the 
levers of the wrists and the elbow and the 
fingers. He taught me where the energy's 
coming from, what the most efficient way 
of pressing the stick or bending your wrist 
or elbow is, and what's going to really 
make the stroke pay off. Obviously, the 
quickest distance between two points is a 
straight line. So when one works that way, 
one learns how to play on practice-pad 
sets, hard rubber pads and tabletops, and 
it's really no big thing to play on an elec¬ 
tronic drumset. They are very unforgiving, 
however. If you flub, it’s noticeable. 

There are other things you have to learn 
to deal with. Obviously, there's only so 
much sensitivity inherent in one of those 
transducers. I would say that, if you go 
from one foot above the pad to three feet 
above the pad, it's not going to get any 
louder. It's all within one inch to one foot; 
that's your dynamic range. So you have to 
limit yourself to that, unless you're just 
trying to put across a visual emphasis that 
doesn't have to come across audio-wise. 
But then again, I'm working on some 
things with that with lim Cooper, the guy 
who built the Sound Chest. The dynamic 
curve will be logarithmic and it will be 



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harder to get louder. The louder I get, the 
harder I'm going to have to hit to make it 
that little increment louder. That will be 
more in keeping with what acoustic drums 
feel like. Also, my pads are hard surfaces 
but are shock mounted on sponge, so they 
"give" when struck hard without sacrific¬ 
ing the sensitivity of the new "soft sur¬ 
faced" drum pads. 

RM: With Missing Persons, you play 
drums, you compose, you produce, and 
you are also knowledgeable about such 
things as art and design. I've often felt that 
some musicians become so involved with 
just their instruments that they end up 
being one-dimensional. 

TB: I wouldn't trade anything I've ever 
learned—any experience good or bad— 
because all these experiences help some¬ 
how. They make up the sum total of what 
you are. Drummers do tend to get a little 
bit narrow-minded, but I think once they 
grow in life, they realize that life is a very 
manifold thing. They'll go through a ren¬ 
aissance, diversify, take in other energies 
and other influences, and apply those ener¬ 
gies they've concentrated in that one nar¬ 
row field to other areas. If they keep their 
minds open, it can only help. I didn't; 
that's why I can say that. I was real close- 

RM: Can you be specific? 

TB: Where music was concerned, if it 
wasn't something like Miles Davis, John 
Coltrane or Igor Stravinsky, it was gar¬ 
bage. It had no validity whatsoever. 
Nobody but Tony Williams and Eric 
Gravatt meant anything to me. I don't feel 
that way anymore. There are all kinds of 
expressions in life. I'm sure I was a real 
fool. I would make real technical, clinical 
comments about drummers, not realizing 
the beauty of what they had done. I was 
missing the whole point for one stupid lit¬ 
tle thing that I may have been obsessed 
with at one point in my life. It's a mistake I 
hope anybody who reads this doesn't 

RM: Everybody goes through that. For 
example, there seems to be a whole genera¬ 
tion of drummers that was influenced by 
Tony Williams. They all tell stories about 
trying to inflict his licks on whatever they 
were playing, whether it fit or not. 

TB: I did the same thing. I got the gig with 
Azteca, but then after a while they kicked 
me out because I was just playing too busy. 
It'sjust aphase, you know. I'mglad I went 
through it, because I learned so much by 
imitating Tony, but then you come to the 
point where you learn the techniques, not 
the licks. You can then form your own 
expression having the benefit of expanded 
technique. Then, those licks become less 
and less important to you. I think, more 
and more, your own self-expression and 
your own identity become important to 
you, more than anything else—more than 
how fast you can play. The thing you want 
to get across is what's in your own soul. 

RM: There's an endless debate as to 
whether you should memorize other peo¬ 
ple's solos. I once heard someone compare 
it to when you're a child and you imitate 
the words your parents speak. At first you 
may not even know what some of those 
words mean, but that's how you learn the 
language. Ultimately, you use those same 
words to express your own thoughts. 

TB: Right. To me, a solo is a complete con¬ 
cept. Therefore, I would suggest that a 
whole solo would be the most appropriate 
way to learn. But you can break it down 
into the little words and letters—little 
notes that make up those statements. You 
can take a motif, analyze it and say, 
"Okay, this is a coordinated figure that 
deals with the interdependence between 
my left hand on the snare drum, my left 
foot on the hi-hat and my right foot on the 
bass drum." You can then take those tech¬ 
niques and say, "Okay, fine. I don't have 
to say the same little statement that Tony 
Williams or Elvin Jones said. I can make 
up my own utilizing those techniques and 
therefore develop my own style." That's 
what I always tried to do—to take just 
those techniques, and develop my own 
motifs and statements using those tech¬ 
niques. And then there are other tech¬ 
niques that one directly wants to ignore 
just to retain some identity. That's a good 
thing too sometimes—not to imitate— 
because not everybody likes the same 

RM: At one point, certain jazz drummers 
decided, "I am not going to play the hi-hat 
on 2 and 4 anymore." They were trying to 
break away from what everyone else was 

TB: That's why I decided not to play the 
ride cymbal anymore. Tony Williams said 
it all on the ride cymbal, [laughs] I'm try¬ 
ing to develop my own sounds and tech¬ 

RM: A lot of people are saying that we're 
entering an age where technique isn't really 
going to matter much anymore—that the 
only things that will be important are 

TB: It's already that way. Technique itself 
is an idea; it's a concept. So it's not that 
technique isn’t valid. It's just that in the 
world of recorded music where the per¬ 
former isn't present, what makes the 
sound—the actual process—is no longer 
important. Ever since the LinnDrum was 
developed and the sequencers and comput¬ 
erized keyboards—even 24-track record¬ 
ing—it's the end result and the effect that 
are important. In the old days, you had to 
really be able to play and get it in one take 
or else you were ousted. Now that's no 
longer the case. You can go back and 
rework, and punch in, and overdub, and 
do any of that to get the point across. So 
that, in essence, is true, and it has been true 
for a long time. 

RM: Do you feel that you no longer need 
all of the technique that you spent years 




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TB: Personally, 1 wouldn't go back and do 
anything differently. I'm glad that I 
learned how to play the drums. I'm glad 
that I can play an acoustic set and that I've 
developed all the technique that I've devel¬ 
oped, because that’s part of what lam. But 
in the end result, which one is more valid? 
That's really something that we'll never 
know. It's really a personal thing. It's a 
matter of taste. I think that there are things 
equally as great as the best drummer who 
has ever played that are being programmed 
on drum machines by people who don't 
even understand what a drumset is or how 
it works. I think, in that respect, that'sjust 
as valid as people who spend all their lives 
learning how to master the art of drum¬ 
ming. But those are just two totally differ¬ 
ent fields that ultimately have the same 
result in recorded music. 

In performance music, obviously, 
there's really not much point in people 
going up there and standing by the drum 
machine that they so brilliantly pro¬ 
grammed while it works out. That isn't 
very exciting. On the other hand, to see 
someone really burn at the drumset is 
exciting. It is awe inspiring. It's something 
worth watching—worth the price of a con¬ 
cert ticket. 

RM: If you had children who wanted to do 
what daddy does, at this point would you 
buy them something like a little Remo PTS 
drumset and teach them how to use sticks, 
or would you buy them a Synsonics and 
start teaching them how to program pat¬ 

TB: I'd buy them both. I'd probably give 
them anything their little hearts desired. I 
don't know; I'd probably spoil my kids. 
On the other hand, my father, who was a 
musician, didn't allow me to play the 
drums. That sort of fueled the fire, I guess. 
His saying, "No, you can't do this" made 
me more and more adamant about want¬ 
ing to play the drums. In the end, he gave 
in and got me the drumset, and I was really 
whipping; I really wanted to do it. I've had 
a lot of friends whose fathers gave them 
whatever the hell they wanted at any point 
in their lives and it didn't really mean as 
much to them. But then there are kids who 
probably got it at age four, like Tony Wil¬ 
liams, who became real monsters. So I 


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A. J. Allieri 



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Tampa, Florida 33610 

would definitely get my kids a drumset— 
get them whatever they wanted. If they fol¬ 
low through with it, great. If not, there are 
other things to do in life besides play 

RM: You said a moment ago that you are 
glad that you learned to play acoustic 
drums. Would you try to influence your 
children at all if they didn't want to learn 
to play real drums, but instead, just 
wanted to get the Synsonics and learn to 
press the buttons? 

TB: That would all be well and good. I 
have great respect for bands like 
Kraftwerk. There is so much to great elec¬ 
tronics. I think that that in itself is an art 
form. I would just let them do whatever 
they wanted to do. You can't stop the pro¬ 
gress of things like that. It's like not letting 
your kid have a car because you rode a 

Drum Pans conlinuntjrtun pagr 13 

RM:Good comparison. I think that brings 
us up to the future. Is there anything you 
can say about future directions of you per¬ 
sonally or Missing Persons as a group? 

TB: It will be full of surprises because this 
past year has proven to us that we can do 
whatever we want, and we will continue to 
do whatever we want at whatever given 
time. Thai is a groove. It's great to have 
that kind of freedom in life and to reach 
that point. As far as what I'm going to do 
as a drummer is concerned, I don't know. I 
have feelings in both directions—the elec¬ 
tronic and the acoustic kind of drum¬ 
ming—and I can do either or both. It 
would be great to do both if we had a big 
enough production budget. And as for the 
band, it's pretty much wide open. What¬ 
ever we feel like at the time is what we will 
do. I think our audience respects us for 


This is my idea of a spacious and melodic tom fill. 
Tom fill in intro 


V— V ^ | 

— h 



y T 



ITT — I 



-ra —r 


0 0 ^ 




1 | 



This pattern was designed to work with the little synth/echo part in the verse. 

A jocular example of "ambidextrous poly-rhythmicry" using 3/4 over 4/4! 




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Gregg Dissonette 

72 Correction: In the September '84 Setup Update, Peter Erskine's kit should have included 12" and 13" Latin Percussion timbales, 
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In Transit 

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act. The level of sophistication exhibited 
by many of today's club groups, in terms 
of incorporating all that equipment into 
their stage presentation, is quite remark¬ 

But that sophisticated image often falls 
apart when a gig ends, and it's time to 
break down, load up, and travel to the next 
location. Unfortunately, the scene often 
shifts from an arena-act concert to a Three 
Stooges movie. The reason for this is very 
simple: Most musicians put a tremendous 
amount of thought and planning into what 
they want or need to perform on stage, and 
how it should best be arranged for per¬ 
formance purposes. But they often give lit¬ 
tle thought to how all that gear is going to 
break down, be containerized, and fit into 
the traveling vehicles. Drummers and key¬ 
board players today have the greatest 
problem, in terms of sheer number of 
pieces of equipment. 

The unfortunate result of this lack of 
prior planning is major confusion when 
packing up, which generally takes place in 
the wee hours of the morning, when every¬ 
one in the group is tired, patience is mini¬ 
mal, and tempers likely to flare. If the 
group is traveling to another town, such 
load-up hassles can delay departure, 
throwing off the entire travel schedule and 
starting the next gig off on a bad foot by 
affecting the arrival time and setup at the 
new location. 

The answer to this situation is also very 
simple: Plan ahead. Devote some serious 
time and effort to figuring out the most effi¬ 
cient way of breaking down, packing up 
and loading your gear. I'm going to direct 
my specific suggestions to drummers, but 
most will apply to any musician who has to 
deal with hauling around equipment. 

Breaking Down 

If done efficiently, even the breakdown 
of a large kit can be accomplished quickly 
and easily. There are several keys to an effi¬ 
cient breakdown. 

1. Start immediately. Assuming you 
don't have a roadie who can handle the 
breakdown for you, you're going to be 
doing it yourself. I suggest that you get 
right on it, as soon as the gig is over. Don't 
go off and have a couple of drinks, and 
then come back. Your energy level is going 
to be relatively high at the end of the gig— 
even if it was a rough night—because your 
adrenaline will have been pumped up over 
the last set. If you take too much time to 
"cool off" before you go to work, you'll 
lose momentum and it will be more diffi- 



cult to get started. Break down first. Then 
when that work is done, take a moment to 
relax before the load up. 

2. Break down in a systematized man¬ 
ner. Generally, it's best to start at the top 
(with cymbals), and work down (following 
with rack toms, then snare, then the stands 
that are now free, then the larger drums, 
etc.). It's important to have a definite sys¬ 
tem for packing up. If it's possible to get 
your cases very close to the kit, you can 
pack each item immediately as it breaks 
down. But don't try that method if it 
requires a lot of walking to get from stage 
to case on an item-by-item basis. I prefer to 
stack everything in one place just off stage, 
in a neatly arranged manner. Then I bring 
in my cases, and pack everything at one 
time. That way, each operation (stage-to- 
stack, stack-to-cases) is completed at one 

3. Breakdown as little aspossible. Ifyou 
have to break every stand down into its 
component parts, it's going to take a long 
time. I deliberately built my trap case extra 
large, so that I can leave many of my 
stands—especially those I custom-made 
using multi-clamps and mini-booms—par¬ 
tially set up. This not only speeds up break¬ 
down, but also setup at the next location, 
and helps make sure my setup is the same 
the next time. It's also important to have 
everything memory-locked in some man¬ 
ner. If your hardware includes a factory 

memory-lock system, fine. If not, use hose 
clamps, tape, or some other method which 
will allow you to break down the stands 
quickly without worrying about how 
they're going to go back together. Memory 
locks also speed up the setup on the next 

Packing Up 

Have a designated place to put every¬ 
thing. Small items that have to be individu¬ 
ally carried increase your breakdown time, 
and are very prone to being left behind. 
Have all the necessary drum cases, trap 
cases, miscellaneous parts boxes and tool 
kits you need, as well as containers for 
microphones, cables, extension cords, etc. 
Aside from oversize items like studio-size 

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mic' booms, drums risers, or other such 
pieces, nothing should be carried on its 
own. Containerize everything you possibly 
can, and combine things as much as practi¬ 
cal (accounting for reasonable weight) to 
reduce the total number of containers you 

Loading Up 

This is the meat of the whole operation. 
Even groups that have ATA cases for every 
piece of equipment sometimes run into 
snags when it comes to fitting everything 
into the vehicles. And the average drum¬ 
mer, with many different sizes and shapes 
of cases and containers, is faced with an 
especially difficult job. Again, the key here 
is prior planning, including some hands-on 


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Pictured at a recent MI Graduation are (l to r) GIT graduateJonny Johnasson, GIT instructors Howard Roberts and 
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Tim Bogert and Jeff Berlin, BIT graduate Lawrence Cottle (front) PIT graduates Jim Cremona and John Platero and 
3l Tgraduate Kevin A Imeida. 

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rehearsal. Here are my suggestions. 

1. Rehearseyour load up. Take an entire 
day and experiment with loading arrange¬ 
ments in your vehicle. The best time to do 
this is when the actual equipment is set up 
on stage, and you are only moving around 
the empty containers. This saves a lot of 
energy, yet provides you with an accurate 
idea of the space required by each item. 
Work with every case, box, and miscella¬ 
neous item that is going to have to fit in at 
the end of the gig. Don't just toss every¬ 
thing in; experiment with different loading 
patterns until you find the one that gives 
you the most efficient use of space. 
Remember, you don't want things to shift 
while driving, so each case should help 
hold and support the next one. You also 
may be adding new equipment later, so if 
you can come up with an arrangement that 
leaves some empty space, so much the bet¬ 
ter. Don't just take the first arrangement 
that gets everything in and assume it's 
going to be "the one." 

2. Use space wisely. If you have several 
cases or containers that are similar in 
dimension, you can use them to create lev¬ 
els within your vehicle. For example, I use 
my bass drum, floor tom and large trap 
cases, which are all the same height, to 
form a "lower deck," upon which I place 
the top of my drum riser. This forms a 
"second deck" to put my smaller drums 
and other cases on. It's also important that 
you fill up small spaces wherever possible. 

"For Your Drum and Percussion Needs" 



If your vehicle has a wheel well that is too 
small for a drum case, try a tool box, or 
perhaps a small mic' case. Don't leave any 
unnecessary air spaces. You'll find that 
they add up to a lot of space, which you 
won't have when you need it at the end of 
the load up. 

3. Make a loading chart. Once you have 
determined the optimum loading arrange¬ 
ment, make a schematic diagram of it, 
showing where everything goes: what's on 
top of what, which way the cases are 
turned, etc. Often your load up will be very 
tight, and the slightest misplacement of 
any item can throw the entire thing out of 
whack. The most frustrating thing about 
that is that you may not come to realize it 
until you've almost finished the load up 
and the last item just won't fit in! Then it 
means starting over again, which can be a 
real downer at five in the morning. 

I suggest you include a sequential load¬ 
ing chart with your diagram. Often, it's 
necessary to put things in the vehicle in a 
certain order, so that they can fit in the pre¬ 
scribed position. The list also serves two 
other purposes: It speeds up the loading 
operation because you can read down the 
list and know just what to put in next (or 
even better, someone else who's helping 
can), and it also serves as a checklist. As 
you load something in, you can check it 
off, and that way you'll know you haven't 
left anything behind. 

If you are in a traveling act, and per¬ 
sonal gear such as suitcases, trunks, ice 
chests, portable stereos, etc., are to be 
loaded, be sure to include them in your 
rehearsal, and show them on your diagram 
and load list. 

4. Be prepared to secure the load. If it is 
necessary to tie your load down, then have 
Bunji cords, rope, chains, locks, or what¬ 
ever as part of your regular traveling gear. 
Don't use them elsewhere when you're not 
traveling, and then have to scrounge for 
them when you need them. Keep them 
packed in one of your traveling containers. 

If you carry any equipment in an open 
vehicle, such as a pickup truck, be sure to 
have a tarp or plastic cover available in 
case of inclement weather. Again, make 
sure you always have it, and make sure it's 
in good condition. Even a short crosstown 
trip can be damaging if it must be done in a 
driving rain. 

5. Be consistent. Just as with the break¬ 
down, the key to efficiency in loading up is 
to do it the same way every time. "Practice 
makes perfect," and once the load up is a 
matter of routine, you'll be surprised at 
how quick and painless it can be. 

Incorporating these suggestions into 
your personal loading method may not 
solve every problem you might have in that 
regard. However, I guarantee it will go a 
long way towards getting you out of your 
gig, and on your way home or to the next 
location in record time. You'll also be in a 
much better frame of mind. |«i* 



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fact that if it gets too hairy, one of the musicians will bring every¬ 
thing back together again. He knew that if we had a few musical 
train wrecks or something, somebody was going to come to the 
rescue and spark that thing again. So we would be playing, and 
maybe George Lewis would stand up and do something, and every¬ 
body would follow him. And then Hiram would do something and 
everybody would follow him. Then I would take it. It was really 
exciting. And to me, that thing of passing the ball in the music, is 
what Weather Report is about too. 

RT: How has Weather Report been different than you thought it 
would be? 

OH: It's weird to be a fan of a band like that, and then join the 
band. That was really funny to me. And when Joe called me, I 
didn't even audition. He just called me. He got a recommendation 
from Michael Urbaniak. At the time I was real busy with Mike 
Mainieri, and I was doing stuff with George Benson. I toured 
Japan with Mainieri, Warren Bernhardt and Marcus Miller, for a 
guitarist named Kazumi Watanabe. After that I worked with 
Mainieri’s band. Then I went out with Carly Simon along with 
Warren, Mike, and Mark Egan. So I had been in that circuit, and 
was doing a lot of club gigs with a lot of people. Mike Urbaniak 
was around at that time. So after Peter Erskine joined Steps, I 
guess Joe called New York and asked who was drumming around 
town and what was going on. Mike was kind enough to give him 
my name. So Joe called me. We didn't talk much about music 
though. He asked me what I was doing. I was in the studio doing a 
solo record at the time. Warner Brothers had given me some bread 
and I was going to do an album as, like, a singer/keyboard player/ 
drummer/guitar player. The night that I came back from mixing 
the stuff, Joe called. So we were talking about where I live, where 
he lives, and his garden with the tomatoes—nothing to do with 
music. Then after we finished talking he said, "Well, okay, you're 

RT: You must be quite a conversationalist. 

OH: It was funny to me, but I guess maybe Mike had already con¬ 
vinced him, or maybe he had seen my name on some things or 
heard me. Miles was sneaking around the clubs. You know how 
those guys are; the word gets around. 

RT: A gig in Weather Report is like a dream to many drummers. 

OH: I flipped. My mother was funny too, because she said, You 
got a call from L.A. about a gig. The guy has a funny name. It 
starts with a Z. He said something about a weather report." I said, 
"Weather Report! Zawinul! What's the number?" It was a 
dream-come-true gig for me. I had been buying the records, and 
going to gigs. I was playing a gig one time and Narada was there. 
He said, "You know, you'd be perfect for Weather Report." This 
was like six years before. I thought that was so strange. But for me 
it felt like a natural place to be, after I got the concept together. 
The first week was pretty rough. It's a matter of learning where to 
place your thoughts in the music. I had a headache all the first 
week, just from the concentration, the excitement of being there 
and learning the music. He'd hand me charts that were so long the 
pages would fall over flapping to the ground. 

RT: Was that different from Gil's approach? 

OH: Well, yes and no. What Joe does is to improvise and let the 
tape recorder run. After he's finished, he writes it down and that’s 
the tune. Then he hands you this chart. Sometimes you use all of it; 
sometimes you don't. 

Joe called me in February but we didn't rehearse until early 
May. So that time was spent looking for a percussionist, and trying 
to talk Marcus Miller into doing the gig. We had played so tight 
together that it would have really been a lot of fun. He had been 
working with Miles and didn't know if he wanted to leave Miles. 
Then he told me he wanted to concentrate on his solo album. So 
around that time I had started working with Miriam Makeba, and 
Victor Bailey was on the gig. I thought to myself that maybe I 
should call Joe and tell him about this guy. So that worked out. 

I had met Jose Rossy with Carmine Rojas in Labelle, and work¬ 
ing with Jose had left an impression on me because we had so much 
fun together—an instant rapport. I just told Joe to get Jose Rossy. 
Now Mino Cinelu is touring with us, from Miles Davis' band. He's 
another guy that knocked me out when I saw him. And when they 
said time for a new percussionist, I suggested Mino immediately. 
RT: You were coproducer on the Domino Theory album. What 
does that mean, exactly? 

OH: Well, producer is such a vague word, but for me it did have a 
meaning. I was mixing the record. I have a great interest in studio 
stuff. All my friends know I’m fanatic about that stuff. I have 
books laying all over the house about it. And Joe knew that too. I 
would do four-track tapes that sounded like they were done on 32- 
tracks. I did these tapes in my basement on a Fostex cassette 
machine. A friend of mine let me borrow an Otari four-track, so I 
had really become versed in making stuff sound good with a mini¬ 
mum of equipment. I feel that if you can do that, then you can go 
crazy in the studio. Joe knew I was a fanatic, so he brought me in 
and he trusted me a lot. I was very involved. It was actually hands- 
on for all of us. I mixed, and made some suggestions about effects, 
and made some arrangement suggestions occasionally. I learned so 
much from Joe and Wayne—just their sense of placing sounds in 
the music. What Joe would do is say, "You got it." He would leave 
the studio and so I would mix it the way I heard it. I would do a 
mix, Joe would come back and say, "Okay, see you later. Go get 
something to eat," and then he would do something. After that, 
we would work on it together. Then we would program things into 
the NECAM, and do more things together. Then we would do 
panning, and set up echoes and delays. Like I said, I’m crazy about 
that stuff, so we had a lot of fun. 

RT: What is the NECAM? 

OH: You know the Neve consoles? This is the Neve computer sys¬ 
tem. Everything is stored on a floppy disk. It remembers the levels 
and fades and stuff. It doesn't remember EQs, but there's a new 
Solid State Logic system that remembers all that stuff, I think. So 
we had a lot of fun. That's something that I intend to definitely get 
into more. My eye is actually set on a career in production. I just 
want to become more versed in my arranging skills, and more 
music stuff, so that I can do that. I intend to be doing that soon. 
RT: I like the tune "Molasses Run" that you wrote for Weather 
Report's Procession, and that you play guitar on. 

OH: Yeah, that was a mistake. Joe said we needed alternate 



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changes on the tune. I had my guitar with me, so I said that I'd 
work out the changes that night and bring them into the studio. I 
was playing it on the guitar, and we were trying to figure it out. He 
was at the keyboards, and he said, "I like that sound. Get a mic'." 
I told him that I didn't want to play guitar on this record. 

RT: Why? 

OH: Well, I don't consider myself a serious guitar player. I do it in 
my house where the doors are closed, the window shades are pulled 
down, and the windows are locked. It's not something that I really 
take seriously, even though there was a time when I was working 
on it, and I was feeling forward motion on it. I'm going to stop 
clowning around with the guitar and the singing, and do it, because 
I want to do it on my record. And if I get up enough nerve I will 
play keyboards—maybe put something together where I'm playing 
drums, a little guitar and keyboards, and singing. 

RT: Is this album that you are working on all original material? 
OH: All original material. I'm going to change the direction of the 
album now, because of Weather Report. Before I joined Weather 
Report I had plans to do a record more in the pop-funk vein, with 
me singing. But people know me as a drummer now, and they like 
what I've done. So I figure that maybe I should be a drummer on 
the record—not that I'm not going to do those other things. I think 
I can now afford to make drumming my focus on the record. There 
was some question as to what I did. "Is he ajazz player? What does 
he do?" The Sanborn project, the Bowie project, and the Weather 
Report albums have been a great help, and so now I'm going to do 
a record where I'm playing. I'm also going to try to find an envi¬ 
ronment to set myself in as a singer. If it comes out being commer¬ 
cial, great. I would like for it to be commercial. I mean, I want to 
appeal to that audience, because I go to Tower Records and buy 
records too. I read the charts and I enjoy that music. But at least 
maybe now I don't have to be so worried about having to make a 
hit record. Recently I realized that I can make some music now and 
not worry about it. 

RT: I like what you guys are doing with the vocals in Weather 
Report now—using them as textural devices. 

OH: Yeah. It's just vocalizing, as opposed to singing. I think I'm 
going to incorporate that into my music somehow. I intend to get 
into some other sounds. I also think I'm not going to try to write 
everything. I’m going to get some other friends and have some fun. 
I love the way Mike Mainieri writes and I had fun playing his 
music, so I’m going to get him to write something or maybe collab¬ 
orate. I just want to play with some of the people that I really love 
playing with, such as Marcus and Victor. 

RT: Your playing on Sanborn's As We Speak album is real strong. 
Did you have an open situation there? 

OH: Yeah. We would rehearse a week before we went into the 
studio. All the rehearsals were done at Michael Sembello's garage, 
which he turned into a studio. So it was real loose. We would just 
go there, play the tunes, try things out, and record them. When we 
went into the studio we knew the music, so we could improvise 
then, have fun and jam. I remember Sembello sitting in the booth, 
playing around with all these great sounds. He would get these 
sounds in the studio that were beautiful. Everything was tracked 
live. So it was a lot of fun on that session. 

RT: Did David solo live on the session? 

OH: Yes. I don't remember what was kept and what wasn't, but he 
did solo live. You can feel a buildup in a lot of that stuff because we 
were jamming. Sometimes somebody would mess up and we'd 
have to start over, so every take was a performance. 

RT: Are there any traits that you especially like in bass players? 
OH: I'm really into a player who listens. I'm a team worker, I 
think, by nature. I work best like that. So if the bass player is a 
team worker, then that makes it easy. And no lazies—I can't work 
very well with someone who's lazy. They've got to be paying atten¬ 
tion, because I like to move. I think pretty fast in terms of making 
music decisions on stage. I guess it has something to do with trust¬ 
ing yourself. Working with Victor and Marcus is so much fun, 
because they work with me and will take the initiative. There are 
times when Marcus and I will just sit in a groove, and then there are 


other times when we'll say, "Okay, here we go." It's the same with 
Victor. Those are general traits. Maybe I don't have specific traits 
because I work well with people, so it's easy for me to go in, listen 
to everybody, and sum up the approach for the session that day. I 
can walk in and listen for a second, or I might walk in the studio 
and play a beat, just to see what everybody's going to do. And 
that's how I know where the session's going to be at that day—just 
from whether the bass player's going to play hard or light. Mark 
Egan is a very delicate player with a beautiful sound, so I might 
play differently with Mark than I would play with Victor. Then I 
worked with this bass player named Ivan Elias, who used to play 
with a rock 'n' roll band called Scandal. We toured together a long 
time ago, and he has a very round tone. So I would do bass drum 
things to help him show off his tone. Some people mistake the 
attack in Marcus' sound for a bass drum, so maybe I would play 
differently with him. I think what I've been able to do is walk in, 
immediately sum up what's going to happen, and then slightly 
change my approach, whether it be with a sound thing, or a time 
thing. Some bass players lean ahead, and some lay back, so I might 
have to pull on one session, but on another session I might have to 
play behind the beat. You have to adjust day to day, especially in 
the sessions. Don't go in with too many preconceptions. Go in with 
your creativity. Take your sound with you and all that. Be open. 
Empty your head of the last one. Leave it and be ready for some¬ 
thing new. I've even done some jingles, and they're really strange. 
The people walk in, you say hello, and they don't say anything to 
you. But then again, you just have to learn how to rise above that, 
open up, and give that the same energy. Then everybody perks up. 
You really have to be ready to rise above, fit in, or change up, many 

People will hire you or fire you based on your rapport, and that's 
why I try to have fun wherever I am. I play the music and do the 
work, but I always want to have some fun. 

RT: What rock bands have you had experience with? 

OH: Not many. Ivan and I met touring with this guy named Arlen 
Gale. We were touring with the Doobie Brothers, and this guitarist 
named Rory Gallagher who used to blow the walls out every night. 
So that was fun. I experienced the rock scene on that one. You'd 
look up while you were playing and see Heineken bottles flying. 
And then with Carly, people were playing rock who had been 
known for playing jazz. She had Mark Egan, Mike Mainieri, War¬ 
ren Bernhardt, and myself. I just like the energy of rock music. In 
the rock bands I've worked with, I loved that wall of sound that I 
heard when the drums were coming out of the monitors just right, 
and everybody landed on a chord together. 

RT: The song "Predator" on the new Weather Report album— 
what did Wayne tell you about playing on that one? It's an incredi¬ 
bly funky groove. 

OH: Wayne hears those kinds of rhythms, so he handed me a little 
slip of paper one day and said, "Check this out." It had a different 
beat than that actually; I changed it up a little. Wayne will give you 
an outline and just say to play what you hear. Wayne doesn't talk 
much about the music. He's into the experience. You have to look 
at where he comes from and what it was like back then—those gigs 
with Art and Miles. They were doing what I was talking about— 
going to the gigs and having an experience every night with the 
music. He likes to keep that in the music, and so does Joe. So we 
were in the studio jamming and we struck up this groove. Some¬ 
times songs come about that way. 

Sometimes Joe will hand you a percussion score. He'll program 
the Linn and then transcribe it. Then he'll hand you a score that 
you need 12 hands to play, but you've got to divide it between two 
arms and two legs. So Jose and I would be looking at the charts 
figuring out who would be playing what, with what hand, and at 
what time. The song "Two Lines" on the Procession album is like 

RT: That's one thing about the drum machines. A non-drummer 
will program them and ask you to do something that it takes about 
eight people to do. 

OH: That's right. It's really funny. Joe would send me these hi-hat 

patterns in New York. I would try to play them anyway. 

RT: What are your feelings about touring the world? 

OH: I love it. I usually hate touring, but with Weather Report it's 
really fun. Last year was the first world tour that I'd done with 
Weather Report. We played everywhere—Yugoslavia to Israel— 
and I had a ball. 

RT: Do people react the same way everywhere? 

OH: They're nuts everywhere. When we got to Jerusalem, people 
were dancing in the aisles. They were loving it. I said, "Wow! 
Look at this!" The Weather Report music lends itself to an inter¬ 
national audience. It's definitely a multi-ethnic-sounding music, so 
everybody can relate to it. It lends itself to many cultures. You hear 
Europe, 52nd Street, Birdland, funk, rock. The gig, to me, has the 
energy of rock at times. You hear Africa and South America in the 
music. You hear animals. So it will bring out that thing in you that 
makes you want to dance in the aisles if you're open to it. It's a 
great and wonderful experience for me. 

RT: Those blue Yamaha drums of yours are beautiful. 

OH: This friend of mine, Christine Martin, got the word to me that 
Yamaha wanted me to be an endorser. She said, "What color do 
you want?" She had a pile of gels—like from a paint store—and we 
looked through them. We cut off one of the blues. I said, "There’s 
no way they're going to do this, but I’m going to send it to them 
anyway." And they sent the drums back with that blue. I flipped. 
They sent me 10", 12", 13" and 14" double-headed tom-toms. 
They're Recording Series shells, with Remo Pinstripes on the top, 
and clear Ambassadors on the bottom. 

RT: Do you like the Pinstripes? 

OH: A lot. I leave them wide open because there's enough har¬ 
monic overtone there without it being too ridiculous. They just 
seem to work well with microphones. There's enough primary tone 
and harmonic overtone there to give you the brightness that you 
need, without it going "boooeeeeeaaaaaaoooo." So I leave them 
wide open most of the time. On some sessions I might dampen 
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stripe. On the snare drum I go for the regular Emperor or Ambas¬ 
sador coaled. Sometimes I use Remo Muffl's inside—the ones that 
are like a ring of foam. The foam lays in a plastic tray and just sits 
in the drum. I cut different pieces of foam, which allows me to have 
the whole head for brush work, but I have just the right amount of 

RT: How many floor toms did you have up there? 

OH: Three floor toms: 14", 16" and 18". The bass drum is 14x22. 
The snare drum is a 7" Recording Series. 

The cymbals are all Zildjian. I'm using two China Boys. One is a 
22", and one is a 16". My crash cymbals lately have been odd sizes. 
I have a 13" thin cymbal, a 19" medium-thin crash, a 17" thin or 
medium thin, and then I use a 22" heavy ride, or I'll use a K. Zild¬ 
jian. The hi-hats are the Quick Beats, with holes. I like them 
because I get the volume and the sound, and it's good for all kinds 
of music. 

RT: You have one very important piece of equipment, which I 
don't think Zildjian makes. It looks a lot like a trash-can lid. 

OH: That's what it is, a trash-can lid. When we were doing the 
song "Where The Moon Goes," there was a drum-machine beat, 
which had handclaps programmed on every third beat. We were 
not going to use the drum machine, so I had to get something to 
simulate that sound. We banged on everything in Joe's house and 
his backyard, and then I said, "Garbage-can lids." To his wife's 
dismay, Joe got the garbage-can lid out of his backyard. He drilled 
a hole in it, we put it on a stand, and I used it on that tune. So now 
the part is there. 

RT: So that's Joe's trash-can lid up there? 

OH: Well, no, I've gone through a few since then. They bend up 
and then they are dead. The "trash" goes away. 

RT: Do you endorse any certain kind of lid? 

OH: Acme, [laughs] No, just kidding. We get these lids from the 
weirdest places. All I know is that most of them have the numbers 
40/45 on them. Yeah, I think readers would like to know that. You 
have to get yourself a 40/45.1 don't even know, does that mean 45 

"... A great help to young players who want 
and need to learn." 

Larrie Londin 

"A result of years of playing and experience— 
this valuable information is ready for all play¬ 
ers who want to improve their playing. Thanks 
for another page of Drum History." 

Louie Bellson 


gallon? Maybe we can take a walk and go look at lids. 

RT: You're doing some double bass drum stuff at the end of 
"Domino Theory." 

OH: Yeah. I've got to get my chops up. I go between using a Drum 
Workshop pedal and a Yamaha pedal. I've never played double 
bass before, and I'm starting to get into the Drum Workshop dou¬ 
ble bass pedal—good invention. 

RT: Has learning to use the double pedal been easy? 

OH: No, it hasn't, but I'm going to get it together. It's just a matter 
of getting some chops up. They sent me one about five or six 
months ago, and I didn't play it in public. I really didn't have a lot 
of time to work on it at home because I was doing a lot of work in 
New York. I wasn't practicing that much. I was working a lot. But 
I figured. I'm going to take it on tour, embarrass myself a few 
nights, and just learn how to play the thing better, [laughs] I mean, 
that's the fun. Carlos Santana said something interesting back- 
stage the other day. He said he really appreciated the band because 
we would take a lot of chances. He said, "You know, you've got to 
lose yourself to find yourself." I said, "Wow, that is interesting." 
That's a good quality, I guess—to be daring. And I learned that 
from Joe and Wayne. Look at Joe; no Weather Report record 
sounds like the last one. He works very hard to make each one 
sound different. 

RT: He comes up with some of the most outside noises. He must be 
laughing to himself sometimes. 

OH: He does. He cracks up, and then he makes music with it—the 
mad professor. 

RT: Who programmed the outrageous drum machine part on 
"Domino Theory"? 

OH: Joe did. Joe's nuts with that stuff. He's hearing all these 
rhythms. Man, he's crazy. He's a madman, but he loves it. I think 
I’ll be playing along with that machine live, because he wants to 
start it out by himself. Eventually, I'm going to start using some 
Simmons equipment. I'm also going to find out if Yamaha is doing 
anything with electric drums. I'm very interested in that, and 
Weather Report is going to allow me to use that stuff. 

RT: What about drumsticks? 

OH: Vic Firth sticks. Can't forget Vic. I'm using 5As with a nylon 
tip. I like them a lot. I've tried some of the other ones too—the 
Choppers, the SD8s. When I'm doing Bowie I use the Rock model 
or the SD1 General. 

RT: Those are hefty sticks. 

OH: Yeah, and I use them because, again, I believe in not using 
muscle. So I say, why not let the sticks work for you? Let them help 
you out; that's why you paid $5.00 a pair for Vic Firth drumsticks, 
dammit. Let them help you! You don't want to concentrate on all 
that. You want to concentrate on the music and letting your arms 
take your hands to where they've got to be on the drumset. I'm a 
wrist player, so if I need a little extra power, then I'm going to go to 
a heavier stick so that I can continue to keep my same touch from 
style to style. 

RT: And you like the nylon tips. 

OH: I like the nylon tips when I'm playing in a high-energy electric 
situation like that. The wood tips would never cut through. You 
have to play for the sound system. I mean, there are great sound 
systems, but ... I can only speak for myself and my touch. Every¬ 
one's different. But for the way I touch a cymbal, nylon tips just 
seem to help me on the projection. They last longer, too, so I go for 
the nylon tip. I pick my cymbals with a nylon tip. But with the 
Rock model stick I've been using the wooden tips, maybe because 
it's a heavier stick. And I've done trio gigs with very light sticks 
with wood tips. Yeah, I'm real strange with that. I think it's maybe 
a little too early for me to lock in. I'm still pretty much finding 
myself—discovering things about how I play in each situation that 
I go in—and so lately I've been starting to make demands on what I 
need from the equipment. I think what I need will become more 
defined in a few years, especially when I get into my own thing. 

RT: I noticed that Weather Report recorded Domino Theory at 
several different studios. Are there any that you feel particularly 
good in? 



OH: Yeah, there are a few. I do a lot of work in New York at the 
Power Station. They can get a great drum sound, and it just works 
well for me. And I've done sessions at Media Sound where they got 
a great drum sound. Electric Lady is good, depending on who's in 
the booth. 

RT: Is it the room or the engineer? 

OH: It's both. And now it doesn't have to be the room anymore, 
because you can assimilate any room digitally. They've got this 
processor with which you can actually program the size of the 
room that you want the instrument to be in. Can you imagine that? 
There are so many factors, you know. I am very fast in the studio, 
so I can go to many places and get desirable results, because I know 
what I'm looking for myself. 

RT: Do you think about posture while you're playing? 

OH: Absolutely. That's very important, because if your back isn't 
straight when you play, you're going to become fatigued. First of 
all, that's the cable connection to your brain. So it's like if you 
have a hose on the lawn and somebody steps on it, the water's not 
going to get through. All the hoses—all the connections—are back 
there and you've got to keep them straight. And breathing is very 
important, because if you don't keep a constant flow of air in and 
out of your lungs, the blood's not going to have enough oxygen to 
take it where it needs to be, and you experience fatigue. By con¬ 
stant breathing you keep oxygen in the bloodstream and keep those 
muscles from locking up. Sometimes I play a solo and I feel myself 
getting tense, but good posture and breathing cool everything right 
out. Then I find that I can play. Sometimes it's hard to relax, but 
air unlocks all of that. I think the key to expressing yourself, even 
in a high-volume situation, is total relaxation. 

RT: How do you relax your mind? What are you thinking about 
when you're up there in the middle of "D Waltz" and just cook¬ 

OH: Let me think about that. Well, I'm watching the moves that 
are being made. I'm listening very closely to everybody, and I guess 
maybe I'm looking for the spark—the adventure in the music. I’m 
really conscious of the sounds of the cymbals and of each drum. I 
know that sometimes just hitting a cymbal in the right place is 
going to do something. If Joe looks at me and I go "bing" on that 
China Boy back there, he's going to go, "Yeah!" 

It's hard to say exactly what is going through my mind, but I 
know that I am looking for the place to take the music higher. 
Sometimes I know I'm thinking about the groove—how deep I can 
get the groove to be. I want the groove to dance no matter what I'm 
playing. If I'm playing bebop I want the groove to dance in the way 
that a person could dance to it. It's like a slight difference in atti¬ 
tude, but it makes a difference, and I’m looking for that in the 
music—the depth of the groove and how it's affecting everybody. 
Is everybody connecting with it? If Wayne is going higher, he'll call 
you with the horn to give him something—drop some bombs or 
something. Or if I hear the time getting funny, that's when I’m 
going to get deeper into the time. Sometimes I have to be the initia¬ 
tor of excitement. Sometimes I have to be quiet. So I’m just trying 
to be sensitive to what's going on at any moment. 

RT: Do you think the groove comes more from the hands or the 
feet? Do you try to play more bottom heavy or top heavy? 

OH: There are times when I have to play hands, and there are times 
when I have to play feet. What I definitely try to do—and I'm sure 
this is the bottom line with everybody, no matter where you build 
the rhythm from—is to play the drumset as one instrument, as if it 
were all meshed together. I hear it as one instrument—each drum 
as a component of one thing. And you'll know whether you have to 
build that sucker from the bottom. Sometimes you've got to switch 
horses in the middle of the stream. In the middle of the song it 
might call for some bottom or some top. It depends on who's solo¬ 
ing. Joe is into the top for his solos; he takes his cue off the ride 
cymbal a lot. I can switch that with Wayne because of the instru¬ 
ment. Maybe I can play less snare drum with Wayne. So again, for 
me, it's a total listening thing. 

RT: What was that real fast bop tune you played near the end of 
the show tonight? 

OH: Oh, that was "Fast City." I don't remember what album it's 
on, but Peter plays on it. He plays his ass off on it; he's got that 
touch. So when we do it, I definitely lend more bottom to it. I think 
I've just got a heavier foot than Peter by nature, probably because 
of my background in rock and funk. So at the beginning, I'm start¬ 
ing it out differently—playing a variation on the original rhythm. 
But it's fast, man. 

RT: How did you learn to play bop so fast? 

OH: I don't know. With much difficulty. No, with me, playing fast 
is a relaxation thing. You start to come up with tricks to get that 
right hand moving. And then it's not always the cymbals; you've 
got the hi-hat you're working with. To play that kind of bebop is a 
hands thing. The bass drum is giving the accents and dropping the 
bombs during the solos. The bass drum is weaving. "Fast City" is 
one of the fastest songs I've ever played. There were a couple of 
songs I did like that with Mike Mainieri, but you learn your tricks 
for doing it. 

RT: But it's funny you would say you had to relax to play at that 

OH: You've got to relax. Before you tense up, you've immediately 
got to say it's not fast. Victor and I had a long discussion about 
that when we were learning it. Don't think of it as fast. It's not fast. 
Never mind the fact that you're going to pass out when it's over; 
it's not fast, [laughs] I find that the longer I play that song on a 
tour, the easier it gets. And the funny thing about it is that the 
longer the tour goes on, the faster I kick it off. It's like anything; 
your body becomes conditioned. There was a time when Victor 
and I rehearsed just playing time together. Marcus and I did that a 
long time too. We would just play grooves together. 1 think every 
drummer has spent a lot of time with a bass player, and it helps the 
bass player and the drummer. At first it was Marcus, because we 
went to school together, and then it was Victor and me. 

RT: Joe seems to love to write in 3/4 time a lot. 

OH: He loves the waltz. He's from Vienna. 

RT: There's blues in there too. 


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OH: Yeah, that's right. Well, look where he came from. He was 
there, in the midst of all that blues stuff. It's interesting the way he 
hears music, and rhythm and time. It's totally different. I'll play a 
rhythm for him and he'll put 1 somewhere else. And it always ends 
up being interesting. 

RT: He'll put 1 somewhere else, thinking that's where it is? 

OH: Yeah, because he might hear it in a different way than I do. So 
it'll turn my head too. "Really, you hear 1 there?" What I’m get¬ 
ting from him and Wayne is an approach to creativity that I 
admire. They'll take a chart and change it six different ways before 
it gets recorded—keep changing keys, take two bars of the chart 
and play it. So I'm really learning an approach to creativity with 
them that I am going to incorporate into my own writing—just to 
keep the openness about it. There are no absolutes, and nothing is 
final. I mean, you can always go somewhere else with the music. I 
think that's what they were saying with the concept of the album: 
"Can it be done?" 

RT: You switch off between matched and traditional grip when 
you play. 

OH: That's true. I noticed that the other night. I looked at my 
hand when we were doing "Fast City," and said, "Oh, we're play¬ 
ing traditional grip." I started playing bop with traditional grip, 
and maybe it's just very natural for me to play bop with traditional 
grip. But at one point I forced myself to play matched because I 
had a giant, ugly callous from playing real hard, and it would get 
painful. So I switched it up and started to practice. That was like 
starting over. I practiced all the old things and felt like a kid again; 
it was weird trying to get that hand to move. But I finally did, so 
I'm switching now—whatever feels good to me. 

RT: So it's just a subconscious move to turn that stick over and 
play traditional on bop? 

OH: I think my whole approach to drums is subconscious, [laughs] 
It's not necessarily a technical approach to playing drums. I under¬ 
stand technique, rudiments, and reading music, but I don't con¬ 
sciously use those things. I only use them as a means of expressing 

'‘lEatftO 8900 

myself. So if you asked how I did something, I would have to go 
back and listen to the tape, analyze it musically and tell you what it 
was. I'm not taking that kind of approach to it; I'm just playing. I 
always want to keep that attitude because the music is king; you're 
just an instrument for it. I truly believe that it has nothing to do 
with me. I guess it sounds corny, but it's a real thing to me. That's 
why I say that when I go to a gig, I seriously don't know what I'm 
going to do and what's going to happen. I'm going to go and expe¬ 
rience it with the audience. I might feel like playing a solo one way 
that night, and the next night it may be totally different. And I 
know that it's not me, because even though we play two hours and 
I play so hard for those two hours. I'm not tired after the show. So 
that's not me relying on physical strength. I'm not a muscle-bound 
guy. I'm 6'2" and 145 pounds, which is light for someone 6'2". It 
goes to show you that you don't have to lift weights to play drums 
hard. It's an energy that you tap inside yourself. You don't need 
muscles to do it. You should be physically fit, though; you have to 
do something, whether it be a concentration, or a physical exercise 
such as riding a bike or walking. But playing drums in itself is 
exercise. It's a great instrument. That's why a lot of drummers play 
until they die. Art Blakey's still playing, and so is Buddy Rich. 
These guys are healthy. I guess the instrument lends itself to health. 
RT: Where do you buy your clothes? You always look real sharp in 

OH: [laughs] I became conscious about that because I was taking a 
lot of pictures, and at one point I realized that this is show biz too. 
So I have a separate suitcase of stuff that I wear on stage. But I've 
been shopping everywhere. You don't have anything to do on the 
road, you know, so Wayne would get up with me early in the morn¬ 
ing in Europe and we would go clothes shopping. 

It was funny to hang out with Wayne. He would just talk about 
life—wouldn't talk about any music. We’d go to the movies 
together and experience different things that we could bring to the 
music. I guess what I'm getting into is that simple life approach to 
music. Maybe that's what I'm looking for every day—that totally 
emotional aspect of the music. When I’m home. I'm really a home¬ 
body, too. I’m there doing things, hanging out with my girlfriend 
all the time. I try to keep it simple, but I can bring that real-life 
energy into the music. 

You are the music you play. When you talk to Wayne you realize 
that you are talking to the person that you hear on the record. He 
speaks the way he plays. There's something happening with musi¬ 
cians whose personality, instrument, and what they're saying 
through their instrument are all one. You draw on all that at a gig. 
The gig is a reflection of your day, and if you had a good day then 
the gig is going to be fun. That's why, when I'm on the road, I 
explore. Nobody knows where to find me. Like I rented a car and I 
know San Francisco now. I'm going to take that on stage with 
me—the old man on the corner with the blues on his face, or the 
kids with the tight pants at Oakland High dancing in the street and 
singing. I might see that in my head when I'm playing, and I'll say, 
"Let's make everybody dance." So maybe I'll try to get that feel¬ 
ing on the drumset, because I like to dance too. 

RT: I heard that Weather Report was doing a video. 

OH: It came out really nice. It's the song "Swamp Cabbage." It's 
going to have some animation and maybe some computer-print 
stuff mixed in with us playing. We went to a soundstage and "lip 
synced" on our instruments. It's very hard to do that with Weather 
Report. It's easy to do when you're just playing a simple rhythm. 
But I freaked doing it with Weather Report. Everybody else can get 
away with it, but if you look at the video and the drummer's offyou 
go, "Oh the drummer's lip syncing!" I had to do a lot of remem¬ 
bering, so I could look halfway like I did the record. But it was fun. 
I'm sure it came out well. The producers seemed pleased. I'll have 
to see it. 

RT: Are you on a retainer with Weather Report? Do they pay you 
year round? 

OH: No, I just do the work and they pay me flat fees. I'm a side- 
man. It's cool. I'm not tied down to it, but I’m enjoying myself. 
I'm going to stay here as long as I'm able because I'm playing what 



(lowing t& town 

Endorsed by: 

Bryan Holmes 
Michael Shrieve 
Bruce Crump 
Larrie Londin 
Ray Brmker 

Phil Ehart 
Joey Kramer 
Bun E Carlos 
Rod Morgenstem 
Kenny Aronoft 
Steve Thomas 


Photo by Bob Jacobs 

Dealer inquiries welcome. 
P.O. Box 940295 
Atlanta, GA 30340 
(404) 938-5367 


01984 POWERGRIP. Inc. AM Rights Reserved 

I want to play in terms of having the freedom to express myself. 
There are not many gigs that you can do that on and get paid for it. 
Weather Report is a very unique band in the industry in that 
they've got a commitment from a major record company to do an 
album every year. They've been making records for so many years; 
some of them have been popular, and some have been totally 
experimental and have gone by the critics. It's good. I hope I can 
find a record company that is so committed to me as an artist. I feel 
that I have a lot to say, and I don’t know if I can say it in one band. 
I don’t know if I could say it in a deal that's considered a jazz deal, 
or a deal that's considered strictly a pop deal. It'll be interesting to 
see what happens this year. 

RT: Do you listen to the radio a lot? 

OH: I do, man. I have to keep up with what's on the radio because 
I'm a songwriter. I listen to it all; I'm not locked into anything. Joe 
and I had a discussion about that once. He was saying that musi¬ 
cians shouldn't listen so much. I told him I didn't agree with him, 
because my work relies on my staying abreast. When you have a 
record deal with a band called Weather Report, and it's your deal, 
you can afford to be in your own little world. But when I leave here. 
I've got to go out there. So I have to stay open, listen to what 
everybody's doing, and fit myself into that. I'm definitely wide 
open. I'll listen to the easy-listening station for a while, switch to 
the bop station, go to the funk station for about an hour, you 
know—just take it all in. I’m hearing arrangements, lyrics, 
grooves, solos, changes and stuff. It'll influence you and give you 
your own perspective on creating music. I wrote a song for George 
Benson's last album, called "Being With You," and that's like a 
pop-instrumental song. That's probably the product of listening to 
a lot of music. You just sit down and hear all these things. 

RT: Where did you learn your funk chops? 

OH: From listening to records. I played with my father from when 
I was nine until I was 11, and I was listening to all the pop music 
even then. Then I joined this local funk band for a talent show. So 
at that point, all I had to get was strength. They used to tease me. 

Jamie Oidaker 
(Eric Clapton) 
plays 5ABIAN 

They would put their heads in my bass drum and say, "Can't hear 
the bass drum." Two years later they were telling me, "Don't play 
the bass drum so hard." But I learned from practicing with 
records—Motown and James Brown records. 

RT: Did you listen to David Garibaldi in Tower of Power? 

OH: Of course, man. In high school, if you couldn't play the hi-hat 
thing in the intro to "Squib Cakes," man, you weren't happening. 
I really enjoyed his playing—a very original approach. I played a 
lot of funk in school. Most of the gigs were funk and rock. In fact, 
I strayed away from jazz then for mostly funk and rock gigs at that 
time, only occasionally doing some jazz gigs. 

RT: Do you ever worry about ear damage? 

OH: No, because I don't have the monitors loud at all. In the rock 
situations, I want the amps in front of me so the sound goes away. 
The hardest thing for me to hear in amplified situations is the 
drumset. So in my monitors I have a balanced mix of the drumset 
in proportion to what I'm hearing on stage. I get enough of Victor, 
the bass player, because he's usually next to me. And Joe will crank 
for you; you don't have to worry about him. I get Wayne in my 
monitor, and my singing on tunes like "Where The Moon Goes." I 
don't have my monitor loud because I want my ears when I'm 
doing work in the studio. And my hearing is pretty good. 

RT: I was really impressed with the dynamics you play with on " D 
Waltz." Is it hard to play real soft? 

OH: You do have to work on that. I have to thank my father for 
saying, "Whatever you practice, practice it loud and soft." My 
father gave me a lot of hip advice about drums, from a horn play¬ 
er's perspective. I think the band gets off on it too. That whole 
thing of it getting softer and softer happened on a gig. Joe and I 
were making these faces, and sinking lower into the chairs. So it 
was a communication thing, and that's how that part of the song 
happened. We were on stage laughing—cracking up, you know— 
until it was real soft. One night, we did it about eight times and just 
kept getting softer. The humor of it was to come back full-out 
again, and to hear somebody scream in the audience. 

RT: Did you hear the guy scream in the audience last night? 

OH: [laughs] It was so funny, man. But it's involvement. You need 
that. But getting back to it being hard—yeah, it is, because when 
you get it softer you tend to slow down sometimes. The key is in 
getting softer and keeping the intensity. A lot of the old-timers 
could do that great. Billy Higgins and Max Roach could do that. I 
want to even get more into using dynamics this year with the band. 
RT: It gives people's ears a little break. 

OH: It does. They hear it in another light. Then they appreciate the 
bashing when you start to dig in. 

RT: That was a great moment with that guy yelling, and you hitting 
those flams and starting to bash that kit like crazy. Your head was 
swinging up and down. 

OH: I saw a video of myself one time and freaked out. That’s what 
I mean about you becoming absorbed in the music: You don't 
really know where you are sometimes. I remember sometimes 
doing things that made me dizzy on the drumset. The stage would 
be spinning. People know who's jiving and who's not, so I think 
when you give from the heart and are sincere, then you can't be 
denied, even if you're playing the sloppiest stuff in the world. If it's 
from inside you, and you love it and you mean it, they feel it. It 
may be sloppy, but it feels great; it sounds good. I'm going for the 
feeling—make them dance, and experience what I’m feeling with 
the music. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to burst because I expe¬ 
rience so much, and it seems like I can't get it all to come out. And 
sometimes it means reaching back here and hitting that cymbal, 
just to bring it from the depths and just feel it. Oooooooohhhhh! 
Wayne plays like that, and he does it so serenely because he stands 
still. I've listened to him play acoustically this close, and felt his 
heart come out of the horn. I guess I heard a lot of musicians like 
that up close—'Trane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. I've been there and 
heard the sweat. And I guess maybe I want to play like that. Then 
nobody cares what you play or how you did it, because the soul just 
takes over. 



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by David Creamer 

Refinishing Your Drums 

Why on earth would anyone want to go 
through all the trouble of stripping, stain¬ 
ing and finishing an entire set of drums? 
Assuming your set is actually in need of 
repair, it could be very expensive to have 
the whole set professionally refinished. On 
the other hand, if you do all the labor your¬ 

self, the cost could be cut as much as 75%. 
Depending on how large your set is, it 
should cost somewhere between $50 and 
$75 to completely refinish your set. You 
will also take pride in what you have 
accomplished. Imagine how good it feels 
when an admiring soul asks you where you 

got that beautiful set refinished and you 
reply that you did it, completely by your¬ 
self. Maybe it won't come out looking like 
a professional custom refinishing job, 
costing hundreds of dollars. But if you 
spend a little time and effort on the job, it 
should come out as good, if not better 
than, that of a good furniture refinishing 
shop. This article deals with refinishing 
wood shells. 

Refinishing a drum is basically the same 
as refinishing a good piece of furniture. As 
a matter of fact, if, after reading this, 
you're still not sure about how to proceed, 
go to the local library or bookstore and 
pick up a furniture refinishing book. There 
are two things to keep in mind when refin¬ 
ishing your drums. One is the acoustical 
properties of the drum. You do not want to 
put anything on the drum that could 
adversely affect the sound. The other is the 
strength and durability of the drum. It's 
probably safe to say that a drumset gets 
slightly more abuse than a piece of furni¬ 
ture. This has to be taken into account 
when choosing a final finish for your 

Safety First 

Before we begin, there are a few precau¬ 
tions to go over. A lot of the chemicals you 
are going to be using are extremely flam¬ 
mable. Care must be used when handling 
them. Proper ventilation is needed to get 
rid of any dangerous fumes. Besides being 
harmful to breathe, concentrated fumes 
can be very explosive. Do not work in any 
area that has an open flame or electric 
motor (such as a hot water heater or 
dryer). Wear protective gloves, goggles 
and clothing. Buy gloves that are specially 
made for the chemicals you will be using. 
Some types of gloves could dissolve and 
leave your skin exposed to chemicals. The 
goggles should be worn to prevent any¬ 
thing from splashing into your eyes. No 
matter how careful you are, this can hap¬ 
pen very easily. So don't take chances; 
wear goggles. Eye burns are a serious mat¬ 
ter. Don't wear shorts and a t-shirt when 
you work. Wear clothes that will protect 
you from splashes. Any work clothes will 
do, but try not to wear anything that car¬ 
ries a lot of lint such as flannel or wool. 
Lint can stick to the drum when you are 
applying the finish coat, which will ruin the 
finish. Keep children and pets away for 
their own safety, as well as to prevent them 
from stirring up dust. Finally, be careful of 
how you store the chemicals and materials. 
Make sure that all cans are shut tight and 

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stored where they won’t spill. After you 
clean your brushes, empty out the solvent; 
if you let them soak overnight, place them 
outside or put a cover over them to keep 
the fumes down to a minimum. Throw 
rags out, or rinse them in solvent and place 
them outside to dry. Never leave them in a 
pile; they have been known to burst into 
flames. All in all, a little common sense is 
all that's needed to prevent accidents. 

Wood Types 

Maple and birch are probably two of the 
most common woods used in drums. Both 
range from creamy white to a light reddish 
brown in color. They usually have a 
straight grain, and are heavy, hard, and 
strong. They also have good shock resist¬ 
ance and very small pores on their surface. 
Wood with very small pores is referred to 
as having a close grain. Naturally, with 
smaller openings on the surface, it takes 
longer for stain and finish to penetrate. 
Another popular wood is mahogany. Col¬ 
ors range from yellowish brown through 
reddish brown to a dark red. Mahogany 
has a highly figured grain pattern and very 
open pores depending on the type used. 
Open-grain woods will soak up stain and 
finish much faster than other woods. Care 
must be taken not to overstain them or to 
underfinish them. 

Resurfacing Wood Drums 

Before you go through the trouble of 
stripping and refinishing a drum, you 
might want to try to save the old finish. If 
just the outside finish is scratched or 
stained, it might be possible to resurface 
the drum. This is especially desirable for 
old and antique drums. Older woods get a 
beautiful patina from aging and weather¬ 
ing. The patina is a delicate surface color¬ 
ing that is hard to reproduce on new wood. 
Since the patina is only on the surface of 
the wood, too much sanding or the chemi¬ 
cals in the strippers can destroy it. 

The first thing you want to do to an old 
drum is determine what type of finish is on 
it. Older drums usually have either shellac 
or lacquer on them, but some may have 
varnish (spar varnish, not polyurethane). 
To test for the shellac, brush a little denat¬ 
ured alcohol on a small area. The inside or 
edge of the drum or under the hardware 
are the best spots. If the alcohol removes 
the finish, then the drum is coated with 
shellac. If it remains unaffected, try lac¬ 
quer thinner to test for lacquer and var¬ 
nish. If by some chance your drum was 
recoated with polyurethane, you will prob¬ 
ably have to strip it. 

The next step would be to clean the drum 
with a rag dipped in paint thinner. If the 
drum has white marks or water spots on it, 
these can be rubbed off easily with some 
4/0 steel wool and lemon oil. Wet the steel 
wool with a little oil and gently rub along 
with the grain of the wood. Adjust pres¬ 
sure as necessary, but don't rub too hard 

or you will rub the finish right off. If there 
are just a few spots on the drum, try a little 
toothpaste and a soft rag. 

A worn finish is easily repaired as long as 
the wood is undamaged. If the wood is 
slightly scratched or scraped, you can try 
to rub it smooth with 4/0 steel wool and 
restain that area with a matching stain. 
Clean the drum with paint thinner, test to 
see what type of coating is on it, and rub 
the entire drum down with 4/0 steel wool 
to clean any imbedded dirt. You can then 
recoat the drum either with the same type 
of finish or, for a more durable finish, you 
can recoat it with polyurethane varnish 
unless its original coat was shellac. Never 
put polyurethane over shellac, as it may 

not form a good bond. 

If the surface is covered with an alligator 
effect, or if it is covered with tiny cracks in 
the finish, it is possible to dissolve the finish 
and let it reunite (reamalgamation). This 
will only work on shellac or lacquer fin¬ 
ishes. Brush on proper solvent (denatured 
alcohol for shellac; lacquer thinner for lac¬ 
quer) liberally; continue brushing until all 
the surface defects disappear; then brush 
with long, even strokes along the grain and 
let dry. This must be done fast since denat¬ 
ured alcohol and lacquer thinner evapo¬ 
rate very quickly. If the drum has any 
gouges, burns or dark water spots (mean¬ 
ing that water has soaked into the wood), 
you will probably have to strip and refinish 



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the drum. But it doesn't hurt to try to save 
the old finish. At worst, you will have to 
strip down the drum, which you were 
probably going to do anyway. At best, you 
will have refinished your drum and saved 
yourself some time and money. 


If your shells have a plastic covering on 
them, refer to the May '84 MD for instruc¬ 
tions on how to remove it. Before you try 
to remove the covering with a heat gun or 
propane torch, chip off a piece of the plas¬ 
tic and try melting it (do this outside). If it 
bursts into flames, it is probably covered 
with nitrate plastic, in which case you will 
have to remove the covering by hand. To 
do this, gently pry the seam apart, and 
brush or pour lacquer thinner into the 
opening. Continue this until the glue 

Carefully pull the plastic down some more, 
and add more thinner. Do this until you 

remove the entire covering, being careful 
not to pull off any of the wood from the 

For a wood drum, start by removing all 
hardware from the drum, and sand the 
drum enough to rough up the surface 

Use a good-quality stripper, since cheap 
ones usually need repeated applications 
and end up costing more in the long run. 
Also, cheap strippers have more waxes in 
them that stay on the wood. This can affect 
the absorption of the stain later on. 
Choose a wooden-handled brush with nat¬ 
ural bristles so the chemicals in the stripper 
won't dissolve it. Plastic handles and 
nylon bristles can soften and fall out. 
Brush on a good, heavy coat of stripper. A 
light coat will evaporate too fast and won't 
dissolve the finish. Do not brush the strip¬ 
per back and forth; it will not be able to do 
a thorough job if you do. 

Let the stripper sit for at least half an hour. 
By this time, the finish should be "lifted" 
from the wood. Take a small putty knife 
and scrape the old finish off. Be careful not 
to gouge the wood with the knife, and 

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always scrape along with the grain of the 

When you've scraped as much of the finish 
off as you can with the putty knife, take a 
piece of 1/0 or #1 steel wool and remove 
any remaining finish. Wipe the drum down 
with lacquer thinner and let it dry. Then 
wipe it down with thinner again. 

If your drum has been painted, you may 
want to try to scrape the paint off first or 
sand it off. Stripping paint is okay, but 
when the stripper dissolves the paint, it 
could discolor the wood by leaving the 
paint's pigments or coloring in the surface 
of the wood. Be very careful when remov¬ 
ing the paint or plastic covering that you 
don't lift pieces of wood from the drum. 
The drum surface should be as smooth as 

Dents, Gouges and Holes 

Often, older drums will have dents and 
gouges in their wood. Dents are the result 
of something heavy being pressed against 
the surface of the wood, which causes the 
wood to be crushed in. No wood has actu¬ 
ally been removed. It has just been com¬ 
pressed. To fix a dent, place a wet cloth 
over it and place a hot iron over the cloth. 
Hold it there for ten seconds. Repeat as 
necessary to get the compressed wood back 
to its original shape. If some wood has 
been gouged out, you have to use a wood 
filler such as Plastic Wood. Since the wood 
filler and the drum absorb stain at different 
rates, it is best to stain the drum first. Then 
add stain to the wood filler until it matches 
the color of the stained drum. You could 
also try to find some precolored wood 
filler, but the match won't be as close as if 
you did it yourself. If the gouge is deep, use 
two or three applications of putty to com¬ 
pletely fill the hole, allowing each coat to 
dry thoroughly before applying the next 
coat. Sand the putty even with the surface 
of the wood carefully. Since the putty is 
harder than the wood, sanding too hard 
could scratch the wood. 

If you are changing hardware on your 
drum, some of the old holes may need to be 
filled. Purchase a wood dowel close to the 
same size as the hole. Try to find a dowel in 
the same type of wood as your drum. If the 
dowel is too large, it can be whittled down 
to size; if it is too small, you can swell the 
dowel with a wood sweller such as Chair 
Loc. Make sure you seal the end of the 
dowel that shows with sealer, since stain 
soaks into the wood end much faster (see 
section on sealing). 


Perhaps the hardest part about sanding 
is knowing when to stop. With the proper 
type of sandpaper and the correct grit, 
sanding is not very hard to do. Flint paper 
is fairly inexpensive and a good overall 
sandpaper, but it tends to gum up easily 
and could damage the wood if not changed 
often enough. Aluminum oxide is a much 
better paper to use. When buying alumi¬ 
num oxide paper, ask for an "open coat" 
paper. This has less oxide particles on the 
surface and will clog less. Start with a 100- 
150 grit if the wood is fairly rough. Sand at 

a slight angle to the grain for best results. 
Be sure to use a sanding block too. Sanding 
by hand does not always give the best 
results, unless you are experienced at it. 
You can buy a sanding block or make one 
from a piece of wood. Any wood will 
work, but you must attach a piece of felt or 
rubber to the bottom so it can sand the 
drum surface evenly. 

After you finish sanding with the rough 
paper, switch to a medium grade. A 180- 
220 grit will do fine. Just be sure to sand 
with the grain this time. Finally, use a 240- 
320 grit to complete the process. Sand with 
the grain, using long, even strokes. 



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A good alternative to sandpaper would 
be steel wool. You do not need a sanding 
block, but you should wear gloves to keep 
the steel fibers out of your hand. For the 
initial smoothing, a#l or 1/0 grade should 
be used. Rub at a slight angle to the grain 
as before. Then switch to a 2/0 or 3/0 
grade; be sure to rub with the grain. Do the 
final smoothing with a 3/0 or 4/0 grade. 

If your drum has a thin veneer on the 
surface, be sure to use steel wool to smooth 
it down. There will be much less chance of 
going right through the veneer surface and 
ruining the drum's surface. 


You only want to bleach your drums as a 
last resort. You'd be better off trading 
them in or swapping them for a set with a 
nicer color. Bleaching can remove all of 
the pigment from the wood, leaving you 
with a bone-white, colorless set of drums, 
and can also damage the wood enough to 

alter the sound of the drums. If there is no 
way around it and you must bleach the 
drums, it is fairly easy to do; just use a fair 
amount of restraint when applying the 

Stripping will remove some color. How¬ 
ever, if the color of the drum is still too 
dark for your taste after stripping, it is pos¬ 
sible to lighten it with bleach. This should 
be done after the first sanding with coarse 
paper. If the color needs to be lightened 
slightly or if the drum has water stains, you 
can try using common household bleach. 

If the household bleach doesn't work, 
try oxalic acid. Oxalic acid usually comes 
in crystal form and is mixed with water. 
Add two or three ounces of crystals to a 
quart of hot water. This bleach costs more, 
but can work on stains that household 
bleach won't touch. Be very careful with 
this product, as it is extremely strong. Fol¬ 
low the directions on the package care¬ 

Before you bleach, wipe down the sur¬ 
face of the drum with lacquer thinner. 
Brush on the bleach along the grain with an 
inexpensive nylon brush. Be sure to wear 
gloves and eye protection. If you get any 
bleach on your skin, wash it off right away 
with lots of water. Wipe the drum down 
with a damp rag and repeat, if necessary. 

Don't saturate the drum with bleach. 
Again, bleach is very harmful to the wood 
and you should only bleach as a last resort. 
When you are finished bleaching, rinse the 

drum down once or twice with a borax 
solution to neutralize any remaining 
bleach. Let it dry overnight and rinse with 
lacquer thinner. Then continue sanding. 


The color you stain your drums is really 
a matter of personal taste. Dark-colored 
woods usually do not need any extra color¬ 
ing, while light-colored woods need some¬ 
thing to bring the grain to life. This can be 
a darker colored stain or just a neutral tint. 
Stain can also give your drum an aged look 
even if it's new, or make one kind of wood 
resemble another. 

Staining is probably one of the easiest 
steps in refinishing your drum. When you 
buy stain, make sure you purchase a pene¬ 
trating oil stain, not a pigmented oil or 
water-based stain. A penetrating stain will 
give you the best results and will last much 
longer than the other types. 

After you finish sanding your drum and 
wiping it down with lacquer thinner, apply 
a sealer to the edges of the wood (end 
grains). Then apply the stain. Always work 
on a horizontal surface, so you won't get 
runs on the wood. Stain the inside of the 
drum to help preserve it and to make sure 
that the color is what you expected. Start 
with a lighter coat and add others to make 
it darker, if necessary. Do not apply a 
heavy coat until you find out how fast the 
wood will absorb the stain. 

Use either a brush or a rag to apply the 
stain, following the grain. 

Then take a rag and rub it into the wood 
with a circular motion. Take a clean rag 
and wipe off the excess stain, again follow¬ 
ing the grain. Let the drum dry for 24 

Remember, softer woods soak up stain 
faster, so one coat may be enough. Harder 
woods may need extra coats. If you apply 
too much stain and it turns out too dark, 
try wiping it down with a lacquer thinner. 
If it's still too dark, you may have to 
bleach it. 


If you are going to be putting a surface 
finish such as lacquer or varnish on your 
drum, it is a good idea to seal the surface of 
the wood first. This will prevent the finish 
from soaking into the wood. The sealant 



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or "wash" is usually a greatly thinned 
down version of the final finish (check fin¬ 
ish for the proper thinner). Brash it onto 
the drum following the grain. 

The wash will allow you to see if there are 
any waxes or oils on the dram that you 
might have missed before. 

There is also a ready-made product 
called sanding sealer. This will penetrate 
the surface of the wood the same as your 
homemade version, but will harden the 
surface and make any loose wood fibers 
stand up for further sanding. Sealers are 
usually applied after the second sanding. 
Hard woods only need one light coat, 
while softer woods may need two or three. 
Be sure to seal the end grains. 


The first decision to be made is whether 
to use a penetrating finish or a surface fin¬ 
ish. Penetrating finishes are special oils 
that soak into the surface of the wood. 
With enough coats, they can protect just as 
well as any surface finish. They are much 
easier for the beginner to use, and you do 
not have to be as careful about dust collect¬ 
ing on the surface. Your drum will have a 
no-finish look and will feel like an 
uncoated wood surface. With enough 
coats, it can even take on a very dull sheen. 

There are four kinds of penetrating oils: 
tung oil, Danish oil, linseed oil and lemon 
oil. Tung oil and Danish oil are the only 
types you should use. The others really 
don't protect as well and take a very long 
time to apply enough coats. To apply the 
oil, just place the drum on a horizontal sur¬ 
face and pour on some oil. Rub it in with a 
clean, lint-free cloth. 

When the surface starts to lose its sheen, it 
means that the oil is soaking in. Apply 

another coat. Repeat this until the wood 
will not accept any more oil. Let the drum 
dry for 24 hours. Then continue to apply 
more oil. Do this three or four times. 

The nice thing about penetrating oils is 
that no matter how much you apply they 
won't affect the sound of the drum. Just be 
sure to apply oil to both the inside and out¬ 
side of the drum. This will prevent warp¬ 
ing. If the drum is ever scratched, rub more 
oil onto the area and it will blend in. 

Surface finishes are exactly what the 
name implies; they dry on the surface of 
the wood and seal it off completely. They 
should always be applied in thin coats, so 
they will not affect the sound of the drum. 
In order to get a good finish on your drum, 

use a good brush, unless you have a spray 
gun. Assuming that most people do not 
have a spray gun to use, we will concen¬ 
trate on applying the finishes with a brush. 

Spend a little extra money and buy a 
good-quality, natural-bristle brush with a 
wooden handle. The bristles should be 
soft, silky and resilient, and they should 
spread out evenly when pressed down. A 
good brash will have split ends on the bot¬ 
tom of each bristle. This helps to spread 
out the finish evenly when brushing it on. 
Don't use a brush that has been used on 
anything other than the type of finish you 
are using. 

There are three basic types of surface 
finishes available: lacquer, varnish and 


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shellac. Lacquer is probably the best sur¬ 
face finish you can put on your drum, but it 
is very hard to use. It works best if heated 
and sprayed on in thin coats, but it also 
comes in a brushing variety. Make sure 
you purchase the right one. Lacquer also 
comes in two formulations: acrylic (the 
type used on cars) and nitrocellulose. Use 
nitrocellulose lacquer since it is made to be 
applied in very thin coats. 

Lacquer has a very fast drying time and 
won't have much of a chance to collect 
dust. The wood should be sealed again if 
your drum was stained. Some of the stain 
could bleed through. Always thin lacquer 
down and apply multiple, thin coats. 

rather than one or two heavier coats. Rub 
the drum down with a clean, soft cloth 
between coats to get a glossier finish. 

Polyurethane varnish is the best choice 
for refinishing your drums. It's easy to use 
and gives the most durable finish of all. It 
comes in four varieties: high gloss, satin, 
semi-gloss and dull. The only drawback is 
that it takes a longer time to dry. This gives 
dust a greater chance to collect on it. Make 
sure you buy a polyurethane varnish. 
Polyurethane usually costs more than 
acrylic, alkyd, phenolic or spar varnish, 
but has much better durability. Shellac is 
not recommended, although it has very 
good scuff and wear resistance, mostly 

because it is not waterproof and is dis¬ 
solved by alcohol. If you spill one drink on 
it, the water and/or alcohol could ruin the 
entire finish. You would have to strip and 
stain the entire drum, if the damage is bad 

When applying a finish, work on a hori¬ 
zontal surface to avoid runs on the drum. 
Make absolutely sure that the work area is 
completely dust free. Have a light or win¬ 
dow nearby to check the reflection on the 
drum surface for dry spots. Clean the 
drum down with a tack cloth to remove 
any dust or wood particles. Dip your clean 
brush in the finish halfway down the bristle 
length. Don't rub the brush along the rim 
of the can. This can cause air bubbles in the 
finish. Gently tap it on the side of the can. 
Brush the finish on in the same direction as 
the grain of the wood. Then brush it in the 
opposite direction. (This must be done 
quickly for lacquer.) 

Steve Gadd is recognized as one of today's greatest artists in rhythm. 
And when it comes to drumsticks. Vic Firth is far and away the leader in 
design expertise and consistent quality £ 

So it's only natural that Steve and Vic get 

together to make the perfect pair . the Wtif Ifl ~ 

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Steve's personal design . Vic's quality 

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with Steve's signature in gold Pitch-paired | 11^ P if it 

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Finish it off by brushing along with the 
grain again. 

You will have to use steel wool between 
coats of polyurethane, because the new 
coat cannot stick to the previous coat 
unless it is roughed up a bit. Use a 4/0 steel 
wool to rub down the entire surface. Lac¬ 
quer doesn't need this, because it redis¬ 
solves the previous coat to form a bond. 

Apply one or two thin coats of finish to 
the outside and one coat to the inside. Let 
the drum dry for 24 hours between coats. 
If you want to add extra coats, put the 
hardware and heads back on between coats 
and make sure you are not affecting the 
sound of the drum. If you need more than 
one day to finish your drum, rinse the 
brush out in solvent. Wrap it in aluminum 
foil and store it in the freezer overnight. 
When finished with the job, clean the 
brush completely and let it dry. 

Now you can reassemble your drums. 
You will enjoy the look and sound that 
only natural wood can give. Your drums 
can look good for years, provided that you 
periodically clean and polish them with 
any good-quality wood cleaner. If you 
have any questions or problems refinishing 
your drums, you can send a letter to the It's 
Questionable column at Modern Drum¬ 

I would like to thank Mascara Music, Bel¬ 
leville, NJ, for supplying the drumshells 
used in the photos and Patrick Foley and 
Johnson True Value Hardware, Reading, 
MA, for their information and advice, od 



A drummer's hands... 

His most prized possession 

To insure the ultimate in creative 
achievement , a drummer must have at his 
fingertips the finest equipment available. 

Put your 

the hands 
of the 



r v 

156 W. 48th St. 
N.Y., N.Y. 10036 
(212) 819-0577 

"v - 



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i . 

.. n 

l\ _ 

1 □i/tj n _ 







by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 

The Rhythms Of Frank Zappa 

Frank Zappa frequently composes using odd rhythmic groupings—quintuplets, septuplets, etc.—played over standard meters. The best 
way to approach these polyrhythms is to subdivide each grouping into 2's and 3's, in order to keep track of the number of notes being 
played. When playing these groupings, each unit should be played as evenly as possible, making sure each note and the space between notes 
have equal lengths. 

Keep in mind that, within a consistent tempo, septuplets are played faster than quintuplets, quintuplets faster than triplets etc., so that 
the notes can fit evenly into the given beat. While practicing these, it is recommended that you use a metronome to help you keep a steady 
pulse. When accents are marked, your best bet is to subdivide at the accent, causing a stronger beat on the 1 count of the subdivision. 

The following are examples of the rhythmic patterns from several Zappa compositions. The first two are from "Be-Bop Tango" (Roxy 
And Elsewhere. Discreet 2DS 2202 1973, Munchkin Music). 

The next example is from "Manx Needs Woman" (Zappa In New York, Discreet 2D 2290 1977, Munchkin Music). Note that the pattern 
begins on the fourth beat of the first measure. 

The following pattern comes from "Does This Sort Of Life Look Interesting To You?" (200 Motels, 
1971 Munchkin Music.) , > > > 

United Artists UAS 9956 

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 


Zappa also writes melodic pieces for the drumset. Here is the rhythmic pattern for the first eight bars of "The Black Page" (Zappa In New 
Fork 1977, Munchkin Music): 




Here is the same pattern, written melodically for the drumset. Remember, division of polyrhythmic groupings should be in 2's and 3's. 

All selections composed by Frank Zappa. A catalog of Scores and Parts to Frank Zappa's music is available from Barfko-Swill, P.O. Box 
5418, North Hollywood, CA 91616-5418. (818) PUMPKIN. 


Always a sale on new & used 
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Simmons SDS8 
Electronic Drumkit 

Dave Simmons revolutionized the drum¬ 
ming world with the creation of the Sim¬ 
mons SDS5 electronic drums a few years 
ago, and the new hi-tech SDS7 introduced 
this year. Realizing that the cost of the 
SDS7 may be prohibitive for some, Sim¬ 
mons has recently released the "budget" 
SDS8 electronic kit. 

The Simmons SDS8 is a five-piece set 
utilizing analog sounds like the SDS5 did. 
The pads have retained their hexagonal 
shape, but have had their playing surfaces 
redesigned. The SDS8 pads have new thin 
rubber surfaces with rubber edging, which 
are a lot more comfortable to play than the 
previous riot-shield material, thus decreas¬ 
ing the "bone-shock" problem that many 
drummers have complained about. For 
better playing response, the wood under¬ 
neath the rubber surface has been made 
thinner. Now, playing the Simmons pads is 
a lot closer to playing on practice pads than 
on tabletops! (Note to SDS5 owners: The 
new rubber surfaces will retrofit SDS5 
pads.) The shell material is plastic, and 
seems to be softer than the SDS5 shells. 
(See MD: Nov. '81 for SDS5 review.) Five 
different colors are available. 

The pads also utilize new internal 
mounting brackets. These round, split 
receivers are hidden, and use a T-screw at 
the pad's bottom to open or close the inner 
clamp around the holder arm. Simmons' 
new mount will accept many of the current 
tube-armed holders, and also has the capa¬ 
bility to interface with memory locks. 

The bass drum pad measures approxi¬ 
mately 22" high, and has large, spike- 
ended tubes, which are bent at their tops. 
These spur tubes fit into receivers near the 
top of the pad, and like the other pads, are 
locked in with a T-screw. The spurs also 
have memory locks fitted on. At the bot¬ 
tom of the pad is an aluminum piece for 
pedal mounting. Most pedals fit comfort¬ 
ably on the plate, but I did have a problem 

with the full-sprocket DW 5000CX. With¬ 
out the support plate, it was fine, but with 
it, the pad was kicked up at a strange angle 
when I tried to secure the pedal to the pad. 
I would also recommend that Simmons 
gives the plate a little more depth, since the 
full sprocket of the pedal sometimes rubs 
against the pad. 

The feel of the bass drum pad is a bit 
alien at first, since it doesn't "give," but 1 
quickly got used to it Gust like playing a 
practice pad). It's advisable to use a felt 
beater—a wooden one makes too much 
noise against the pad surface. 

The four other pads in the kit are all the 
same size—approximately 14". Their con¬ 
nector jacks are right next to the mounting 
receiver. Since the pads themselves do not 
contain the electronics to create sounds, 
one need not worry about which pad is 
used where in the setup. 

Simmons has created an entirely new 
control board for the SDS8. The brain 
resembles a club-type mixer, and has a 
metal casing and a rocker power switch. 
Whereas the SDS5 had plug-in modules 
with three preset sounds and one real-time 
user-controlled sound each, the SDS8 has 
five separate channels, each with two 
sounds: one factory preset, and one that 
can be player-programmed by using the 
control dials on the unit. These sounds are 
selectable via a pushbutton at each chan¬ 
nel. The kit sounds can be converted all at 
once from "factory" to "player," and 
vice versa, either by using the master select 
button on the board or by a foot switch. 
An LED at each channel indicates which 
setting is in use, and a separate trigger LED 
flashes when each particular pad is hit. 

Since this is a five-piece kit, the channels 
are: bass, snare, hi. mid and low toms. 
Each channel has its own parameters. (A 
tom-tom channel cannot become a second 
bass drum channel.) There are nine con¬ 
trols at each channel which are to be used 
by the player when setting up custom 
sounds: sensitivity, filter (overall bright¬ 
ness), pitch, bend (up or down), decay, 
noise/tone balance, impact click, left-to- 
right pan (for stereo image setup), and vol¬ 
ume. The board also has master left and 
right volumes, as well as a master mix vol¬ 
ume. The rear of the board has all 1/4" 
jacks (as do the pads). Jacks are available 
for separate pad outputs and inputs, 
sequencer input for interface with the 

SDS6 Sequencer, foot pedal input, mono 
mix output, and stereo outputs. There is 
no headphone jack, but amplified head¬ 
phones will work when connected to the 
mix output. Effects such as flanging, phas¬ 
ing, echo, etc., may easily be added in, and 
the separate pad outputs are very handy 
for individual EQ of each channel. 

The factory presets produce the "clas¬ 
sic" Simmons sound. Using the controls 
on the board allows you to program up a 
second drumkit worth of sounds and, at 
your option, use them in conjunction with, 
or in place of, the factory sounds. It should 
be noted that using the controls on the 
board does not affect the sounds of the pre¬ 
sets at all. 

All preset sounds are quite good. In fact, 
I liked the presets here better than the ones 
on the SDS5. I was able to dial in some of 
my own sounds very easily, but found that 
you should write down settings you like, 
since the board has no memory capability 
for user sounds, and it's quite possible that 
the dials can turn a bit when the unit is in 

As I stated before, response of the pads 
is like playing a practice pad kit. The pads 
have an amazing sensitivity range, which 
can be set by the player on either of the 
sounds. For example, a soft roll on the 
floor tom can create a timpani-like sound. 
Increasing pressure gets you up to the full 
floor tom sound. One great thing about the 
electronic kits is that you do not need to hit 
them hard to achieve a good sound; the 
electronics do the work. Even though the 
pads are edged off, they are not capable of 
rimshot sounds. It is possible to play the 
pads on their edging—a good way to get 
double-bass patterns from the single-bass 
drumpad! The rubber pads will mark up, 
but they will not dent, and the marks can 
be removed with a damp cloth. 

Stands are now included with the SDS8, 
as are all cables connected to the pads. Sep¬ 
arate snare stands can also work well to 
hold individual pads. Besides being a good 
live or studio kit (since there is absolutely 
no leakage), the SDS8 can also serve as a 
silent practice kit, or an audible practice 
kit when hooked into a home stereo sys¬ 
tem. The kit is extremely compact—the 
pads, brain, and any hardware you choose 
to use will pack into a floor tom case and a 
trap case. 

The only two criticisms I have for the 



by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 

SDS8 are the lack of optional XLR (three- 
pin) jacks at the signal outputs, and the 
need for a longer foot-switch cable. If the 
brain is set up on your right, and you want 
the foot switch to be on the left of your hi- 
hat, the chord will not reach over. Many 
drummers have wanted only one or two 
pads to use as an addition to their acoustic 
kit, and Simmons plans to release the 
SDS1, a single, battery-operated pad with 
an interchangeable sound source. 

The Simmons SDS8 is a remarkable 
unit. It allows two different electronic 
drumkits to be immediately at your dis¬ 
posal and, at a retail of $ 1,550, is placed in 
the dollar range of most acoustic five-piece 
drumkits. The Simmons kits were first 
thought to be a passing fad, but it is very 
clear that they are now a major part of con¬ 
temporary music, and the introduction of 
the SDS8 kit makes it possible for everyone 
to enjoy the sounds. SI 




218 S. WABASH 
8th FLOOR 
CHICAGO, ILL. 60604 
1 312 427 -8480 


No more sore hands and ugly callouses 
Ultra Lightweight 
Washable and reusable 
Made of patented space age “skin” rubber 
Actually molds to your grip 
For all sticks 5B or larger 
Available in black only 
This product is not a roll of tape 
Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back 


_P.O. Box 20595 Reno, NV 89515 



Sub Total 



Nev. res. add 6% sales tax 


Shipping and Handling 




Check or money order only, no C O. D.'s 
accepted Allow 2 weeks for delivery. 

Dealer Inquiries Accepted 


by Michael Bettine 

The Art Of Drum Computing 

Drum boxes have been with us since the late '60s. The first ones 
featured tinny cymbal- and bongo-type sounds prearranged in 
quasi-Latin-style beats. Technology has brought us a long way to 
today's digital drum computers. We now have at our disposal fully 
programmable, real drum sounds. While many people express a 
dislike for drum computers, they are here to stay, just like the 
synthesizer and electric guitar before them. Whether or not you 
like drum computers, you may at some time be called upon to use 
and/or program one. This article will deal with some of the basic 
steps and offer some tips to help achieve more realistic drum parts. 
While some of the tips may seem obvious, first-time users are often 
overwhelmed by the rhythmic possibilities afforded them. (So if 
you're a drummer, don't forget to think like one.) First we'll look 
at programming modes and their uses. We'll use the various terms 
that the different companies use. 

Segment/Pattern/Sequence: This is the building block of your 
drum parts. In programming, it is usually a group of measures that 
will be used to build up a larger song unit. For example, a 16-bar 
verse may be made up of a four-bar segment that is repeated four 

Song: This is made up of a series of segments chained together. 
One could make a song out of one long segment, but to save time 
and memory space, it is easier to program smaller segments. 

Auto Correct/Error Correct/Quantize: As most users are not 
great drummers, and it's not easy to play drums on buttons, this 
function corrects your playing by rounding off mistakes to the 
nearest note. This is usually selectable between 8th notes and 32nd- 
note triplets. In Example 1, we see a pattern as it was entered by the 
programmer. While trying for straight 8th notes, the program¬ 
mer's playing was uneven. With auto correct set at 8th-note resolu¬ 
tion, the part came out as in Example 2. 

Vf j j THj 



v : i 


High Resolution/Real Time: This is a correction mode that does 

not correct. What you play is what you get. By using this, you are 
able to add a great deal of realism. Most drummers don't play 
exactly on the beat. They play either slightly ahead or behind it. 
This is what creates the tension and gives music its feeling. A good 
way to use this is to put down your cymbal part with auto correct. 
This will give you the timing. With high resolution, add the bass 
drum and snare. This will give you the human feel. It may take a lot 
of practice to become proficient at using high resolution, but your 
drum patterns will take on a more realistic feeling. 

Swing/Shift/Timing: What this does is shift the resolution of 
the drum part. In a normal mode, the beats are all precise and on 
the beat. This is nice, but can sound mechanical or robotic. To get 
away from this, the notes can be shifted slightly off the beat (sort of 
the opposite of auto correct). With an extreme amount of shift, 
you can change a straight 8th pattern (as in Example 3) to the shuf¬ 
fle pattern in Example 4. By mixing up straight and shifted seg¬ 
ments in your songs, it is possible to get away from a metronomic 

Copy: This is a great time-saver. If you have a pattern that you 
want to use again, only with an added cowbell part, you don't have 
to start from scratch. Just copy this segment into another segment 
and then add the cowbell. Another instance where this will help is if 
you have spent time setting up an odd time signature. Resetting for 
each new segment can be time-consuming. Instead, copy your seg¬ 
ment and then erase the individual drum parts while retaining the 
empty segment in the copied time signature. You can then start 
over adding your new drum parts. 

Realistic Drum Computing 

The first rule is. if you want a realistic sounding drum part, you 
must program what a real drummer would play. A drum computer 
opens up a lot of rhythmic possibilities. New users often fall prey 
to having all the drum sounds playing at once. The resulting 
cacophony gets boring and unpleasant after the novelty wears off. 
The best drum parts are usually clean and direct. Another problem 
is one of "perpetual motion." Avoid programming a part that 
never stops or changes. Variety will help to avoid sounding 
robotic. Example 5 shows a four-bar phrase with a drum fill on the 
end. The cymbal rhythm keeps playing over the fill. Realistically, 
as in Example 6, the cymbal should stop during the fill. A real 
drummer couldn’t play both parts at once. 

Accents can also add to a drum part. No drummer plays all beats 
with the same force. Without accents, the drumming gets monoto¬ 
nous. Try programming Example 7 (without accents) and Example 



8 (with accents). Over repeated listenings. Example 8 stands out as 
more interesting and listenable. A well-placed accent can make all 
the difference in a drum part. 

Flams are another good variation. They work especially well on 
hand claps. Repeated drum computer claps are very precise and 
uninteresting. No group of people can clap that precisely. By add¬ 
ing one or two grace notes to various claps in a series, you get a 
more realistic degree of randomness. Use 32nd or 48th notes, or 
high resolution mode to add unaccented grace notes to the 
accented main note. Program Example 9 (without flams) and 
Example 10 (with flams). Example 10 is far more interesting. 

Call us and we’ll 
prove it to you 



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With the Mike Cuso booklet on how to make your own custom maple 


With basic materials and simple hand tools, you can make QUALITY 
SHT.U S S(>I ’A7> (IKEA T' With my step by step instructions you will be 
amazed at how easy they are to make. 

IF VOlf ARK A SERIOUS DRUMMER (and you probably are or else you 
wouldn't be reading this ad), it would be worth your while to make your 
own shells and be proud to play drums made by your own hands, 
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To order, send check or money order to: 

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Calalo continued train page 2 I 
mer, and the other trade magazines, 
because we have to keep in touch with what 
the rest of the industry is doing. We see 
that this manufacturer is producing this, 
or that this drummer is endorsing a stick 
which has a certain shape or size, and even¬ 
tually we start to realize that there's a cer¬ 
tain shape that is becoming popular. We 
have to look at that. Then we also have 
people who write in, constantly. When we 
hear enough of that, we don't sit back and 
say, "Well, we're just going to keep mak¬ 
ing our sticks because we have enough 
models now." We have to keep up with the 
times. Drumming has changed so much in 
the past years. The best example is the 
development of our new Quantum 5B and 
2B lines. We already had the Quantum 
stick, which was a nice, heavy stick, but the 
nylon tip and the stick were both so big 
that you really didn't get any definition on 
a cymbal. A drummer who was a hard 
player, but still did a lot of cymbal work 
and wanted definition, couldn't use the 
Quantum sticks. So we had to come up 
with a compromise between the larger sizes 
of dance band sticks which had the cymbal 
definition but not the power, and the 
Quantum sticks, which had the power but 
not the definition. We put some prototypes 
together, sent them out into the field to 
various drummers, and came up with a 
successful couple of models. 

RVH: I m curious about how the shape of 

the prototypes are originally created. Your 
dowels all start out the same size, no mat¬ 
ter what size the stick will eventually be. 
How do you develop the actual silhouette 
for a totally new stick? 

JSC: With the Quantum 2B and 5 B, it was 
pretty easy. All we did was take an existing 
lathe knife for the stock 2B and 5 B size 
sticks, back it out and build a thicker stick, 
which gave us basically what we wanted. 
Then we put the newly designed tip on it. 
We produced some of those, sent them out 
and found out that they worked. We 
refined the shape just a little more, and we 
had a stick. 

JDC: We have the equipment here to make 
our own circular knives [for lathing] which 
very few people can make—even people 
who use the same machines. It's not diffi¬ 
cult for us to come up with a stick model 
because we are able to do our own tooling. 
We can take a new silhouette off the draw¬ 
ing board and whip up a prototype fairly 

JSC: Most people who use these machines 
still have their knives done by an outside 
knife maker. 

JDC: Which is very, very expensive— 
thousands of dollars to make one knife. 
JSC We've come down to a pretty good 
system of making them. We can make 
them fast, and we think we can make them 
more accurate because we're able to take 
it, test it, refine it, etc. 

RVH: So the research and development 

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stage here is not so much theoretical as 
practical. You get right into the prototypes 
right away. 

JSC Well, with a totally new design we do 
work on paper at the beginning. We draw a 
stick out to scale, and say, "This looks like 
a good shape.” But until you finally pick 
up that stick, you really don't know if it's 
going to feel good or bad. You have to 
hold it in your hand. So we take the basic 
shape that we have on the drawing board 
and we make it up as a prototype, on a 
hand lathe—maybe turn out a dozen of 
them. Then we'll pick them up, and some¬ 
times we can tell immediately: No wayI So 
that design is either dropped right away, or 
else we'll change something, like the bal¬ 
ance. Most of the development is physical 
instead of theoretical. The theoretical 
works on paper, but it isn't always what 
works in your hand. 

JDC: And sometimes it works the other 
way. When Carmine Appice told us what 
he wanted for his stick [a 5A with a groove 
around the butt end creating a large 
wooden "bead"] I said, "That's dumb. 
Why don't you just turn a 5A around and 
play it the way it is?" But after the stick 
was made, I'd be the first one to say that I 
have never in all my years found a stick 
with such a balance or that I enjoy playing 
so much. It's got a great feel, and most 
people who have played it have found that 
to be true. And it's nothing but a 5A stick 
with a groove in it, a little back from the 
butt end. We didn't change anything else. I 
think John was the one who came up with 
an idea about why that stick feels so good. 
JOHN: It goes back to the Super Balance 
that Jake Hanna liked. I had used it; I'm 
old enough to appreciate that stick. It's 
what you do at the end. What you do at the 
end of a timpani mallet is the same thing. If 
you put grips on it, that changes the feel. 
So I think that's an important feature of 
the Carmine stick. You don't necessarily 
have to play with it the way Carmine does, 
but his design affects the balance. I agree 
with Joe: It's a wonderfully balanced 

RVH: Once you have a feature that works 
on one size stick, would you then consider 
applying it to other sizes to see if you get 
the same results? Would you try putting a 
groove like that into a 5B, or even a 2B, for 
people who need a slightly larger stick? 
JSC Well, it might work. What we might 
do is turn a few sticks out, put the beads on 
the ends, and then say yes or no. It's not 
just us who make that determination 
either, although obviously we have our 
preferences about what makes a good 



Repairs • Refinishing 
Trade ins • Consignments • 

Rentals • Lessons • Customizing 

( 316 ) 265-7264 

917 E Ml Veron. Wichita. KS 67211 



stick. There are sticks that we make that I 
personally can't understand how anybody 
could play with—models that we don't feel 
have a good balance. But there's a demand 
for them, so obviously there are a lot of 
drummers who feel that it is a good bal¬ 
ance, and who are we to argue with them? 
We're in business to sell drumsticks. 

RVH: I' ve always felt the major difference 
between a Calato stick and any other 
brand in a given size is your stick silhou¬ 
ette—especially the taper. Your sticks have 
a longer, more gradual taper than most 
others, resulting in a stick that is a little less 
"shoulder heavy." Why that design? 

JDC: Not only does it make for a faster 
stick, but the cymbal sound is much better, 
especially with the nylon tip. You get a bet¬ 
ter definition in the sound. I don't believe 
in overloading the front end of a stick. 
That goes back to my days of playing, and 
when I was doing more of the designing. I 
feel that a lot of sticks that are made with 
this overloading start to develop conflict¬ 
ing overtones in the cymbals. I think Billy 
Zildjian of Sabian said it best in your own 
magazine, when he stated that they'll use a 
Regal Tip 5A to demonstrate a cymbal 
because it would make a garbage can lid 
sound terrific. 1 broke up when I saw that. 

Now, we make a complete line of wood- 
tip drumsticks, and we change there; we 
don't hang on to the same rules that we do 
with nylon-tipped sticks. But whether the 
tip is wood or nylon, you need a balanced 
stick. I'm not a concert player or a great 
technician, but I think the definition of a 
stick that's got proper balance and feel— 
to the particular person who's playing—is 
more pronounced. I can tell the difference 
when the drummer is playing with sticks 
that he or she isn't satisfied with—that 
don't feel comfortable in the hands. To 
decide how to make a stick is just a matter 
of what taper to put on it to get the best 
sound levels. I don't think there's any 
mechanical or theoretical way to figure it 
out; it just has to be made and felt. 

JOHN: About sensitivity—it's been 
referred to many times. Any artist 
develops a sensitivity to feel and sight—to 
a drumstick, to a sound on a drum or a 
cymbal—and it's hard to put into words 
what exactly that is. For instance, Joe 
developed his little JC model stick way 
back when, and to him that felt right. To 
someone else it may not feel right, but it 
was good enough for him to go out and do 
his whole product line on. It's that sensitiv¬ 
ity that artists develop that you can't dis¬ 
pute. It's there; it's a real thing, but you 
can't always put a finger on it. 

JDC: To let you know how sensitive your 

Make music your ttfet 


I * Jazz Performance • Music Instrument Technology 
• Audio Recording (24-track) • Music Business 

Call (516) 783-8800 or write: 

Dept. MO 2165 Seatord Ave.. Seatord. N.Y. 11783 

hand is, I can let you try out a stick, and 
then put ten other sticks in your hands, one 
at a time, and you can pick the ones that 
come within a half a gram of that first 
stick. I think your hand is more sensitive 
than a scale. 

RVH: It's sort of ironic that you go to such 
trouble to match your pairs of sticks by 
weight and color when you ship them, and 
then most large retailers immediately 
unpack them and put them all in an open 
bin for drummers to select from. 

JOHN: A lot of stick selection is psycho¬ 
logical. If you know you've picked out 
something that satisfies you, even if they 
aren't balanced you're going to believe 
they are, and you're going to play better 
because of that. 

JDC: But you'd be surprised at the number 
of small Mom & Pop stores that buy sticks 
six pairs at a time, and sell them just the 
way we ship them. They want the bag 
sealed, and they don't let anyone open it. 
If you put them all together, there are more 
of them than there are the big stores. So we 
think weight matching is important. 

RVH: After many years without using 
endorsers in your advertising, you've 
recently begun an endorser program. I 
think it's interesting that you began with a 
classical percussionist like John, rather 
than a name rock star. Could you explain 
your philosophy regarding endorsements? 
JDC: Our endorsements are not solicited. 
First of all, we have to like the person we're 

involved with. 

JOHN: The fact that the company has 
used only Jake and Saul's names over all 
these years shows that they didn't need 
anyone to push the sticks. They sold them¬ 
selves. That's why I was flattered to be 
invited to be an endorser of a stick that's 
taken care of itself. 

JDC: We don't go around to anybody and 
everybody saying, "Do you want to 
endorse our sticks? Great! We'll put your 
picture in an ad ..." That's not our 
way—not our company. 

CATHY CALATO: Our endorsers are 
people who used and loved our product to 
begin with—not people who we went after 
saying, "If you’ll use our sticks, we’ll give 
you this . . ." They were people who were 
devoted to our company and we appreci¬ 
ated that. 

CAROL: And another very important part 
of the program is that they are now acting 
as advisors and consultants to the com¬ 
pany, because we're expanding very rap¬ 
idly into different areas of percussion 
accessories. For example, Larrie Londin 
has called with ideas for the Blastick. The 
people who are now involved in the 
endorsement program are from all areas of 
percussion, and yet they all have a close 
relationship with the company. The most 
valuable thing a growing and changing 
company can have is input from outside, 
because the drummers out there are the 
ones using the products all the time, 

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by Simon Goodwin 

Getting Playing Experience 

Last year, a Modem Drummer reader paid 
me the compliment of writing to me with a 
specific question: Did I have any sugges¬ 
tions as to how she could get some experi¬ 
ence playing? Thinking about this ques¬ 
tion reminded me of just what an 
important point this is for anybody 
embarking on a drumming career. It is 
generally accepted among musicians that, 
once a certain level of competence on an 
instrument has been achieved, a player will 
develop much more quickly given the 
incentive and stimulation of playing with 
other people. This is particularly true for 
drummers, whose function of providing a 
rhythmic base for other musicians to work 
off (and generally "holding it all 
together") can only be developed by 
means of practical experience. 

The road from being a beginner to a top 
player is a long one; the vast majority of us 
never reach the end. But the first and most 
crucial step is to get experience at putting 
your instrumental skill to practical use. 
This first hurdle can best be summed up as 
getting together with other people to play. 
Before moving on to suggestions about 
how to do that, let's consider some of the 
problems that are inherent once you start 
to make the move from practicing on your 
own at home to playing with other people. 

You are likely to develop more quickly if 
you are able to get into a band with other 
people who know what they are doing and 
are able to help you. There is, of course, 
the psychological problem of being the 
"weak link" to be overcome, but to do 
anything from a standpoint of inexperi¬ 
ence is never easy. If you are in a band 
comprised of people who are all equally 
inexperienced, the situation is, obviously, 
even more difficult. If a group of people 
have all started learning their instruments 
at approximately the same time and are 
just reaching the stage when they can start 
trying to play together, the drummer is 
likely to be the best player among them. 
This is because, at this particular level, it is 
easier to make a respectable sound on the 
drums than on any other instrument. With 
a little basic ability, the drummer can mas¬ 
ter some four-way coordination, learn a 
few rhythms, develop the ability to hold a 
reasonably steady tempo, and then get up 
and play. Other instrumentalists have to 
come to terms with melodies, harmonies, 
chords and keys, as well as mastering the 
physical techniques of playing their instru¬ 
ments. So as a drummer you need to be 
patient with your colleagues while they 
struggle to overcome their difficulties. 
Having to hang around doing nothing 

while people argue about chords and keys 
happens in experienced bands as well, and 
the drummer can do a lot worse than to 
learn about musical theory in order to be 
aware of what's going on. 

Regardless of where you might ulti¬ 
mately perform, the initial requirement for 
any group of musicians setting themselves 
up as a band is a place to rehearse. People's 
houses or garages, halls belonging to 
schools or churches, or rooms in clubs or 
hotels might all be used at one time or 
another. The logistical problem of actually 
getting everybody together with their 
instruments is one that often crops up with 
bands first starting out. Young musicians 
usually become involved in bands for the 
first time during their teenage years and are 
often still too young to have driving 
licenses. This means that young bands 
must not only depend on other people to 
allow them rehearsal space, but also on 
older relatives or friends who can drive 
them around. 

Most of these difficulties should be 
apparent to you when you start to learn to 
play; the fact that you have persevered 
with your early studies is probably suffi¬ 
cient indication that you have the determi¬ 
nation to proceed regardless. The next step 
is to put yourself in touch with other peo¬ 
ple with whom you can play. Let's now 
consider some suggestions for doing this. 

1. At School Or College. This one is 
rather obvious, but it merits inclusion. 
Since the most common time for people to 
start playing instruments is when they are 
young, it is quite likely to be at a time when 
they are still involved in full-time educa¬ 
tion. There is usually some "official," 
school-related musical activity which you 
can get involved in. If there is no place for 
you in the band or orchestra, it is still a 
good idea to show an interest, and perhaps 
put yourself in line for a vacancy when one 
occurs. Also, when you are part of a com¬ 
munity with many other people of your 
own age group who are likely to share your 
interests, you are in an ideal position to 
meet people you can form a band with. 
There is usually a "grapevine" for people 
with common interests in every school situ¬ 
ation; it is just a matter of plugging into it. 

2. Advertising At The Music Store. 
Music stores that sell "group gear" usually 
have a bulletin board on which advertise¬ 
ments can be placed by people wishing to 
find musicians, or by musicians offering 
their services. Take a look at these boards; 
there might be something that suits you. If 
there isn't, it is a good idea to advertise 
yourself there. Store owners usually offer 

the use of these boards as a free service to 
their customers (or potential customers), 
because they like people to think of their 
shops as places where musicians meet. It's 
all good for business. If a charge is made it 
will be a small one, probably to discourage 
people who are not serious from wasting 
the available space. Your advertisement 
needs to be well presented (typed or 
printed on a card), and it must say what 
you want it to—no more or less. You will 
not be restricted to using a certain number 
of words, but don’t be tempted to give too 
much information. (You might just say 
something which would discourage peo¬ 
ple.) Don’t try to pretend that you are a 
musical genius (unless you really believe 
that you are), but don’t come across as 
apologetic about your experience; don't 
sell yourself short. Unless you really are 
single-minded about doing so, don't 
restrict yourself to certain styles of music. 
If you give your age, that should tell people 
quite a lot about you; that and the fact that 
you are advertising in the particular store 
tells people all they probably need to know 
before they contact you. Remember that 
you want people to contact you, so make it 
easy for them. Give a phone number, and 
if you know that you are never there at cer¬ 
tain times, specify this fact. Something like 
"evenings and weekends" is quite com¬ 
mon. If people keep trying to call you with¬ 
out success, they will eventually give up. 

3. Advertising In Newspapers, Etc. If 
you advertise in newspapers the same rules 
apply as when advertising in music stores, 
with one important exception: Not only 
will you have to pay, but you will have to 
pay by the word. For this reason, you must 
trim down the wording of your advertise¬ 
ment to the bare necessities. Normally, the 
place to advertise is the local paper or any 
free advertising sheets (free to the recipi¬ 
ent, not the advertiser) which cover the 
area in which you are interested. If you are 
a beginner looking for experience, you are 
unlikely to be prepared musically, or in 
any other way, to travel away for a profes¬ 
sional gig. For this reason, it is probably 
not worth advertising in any of the 
national music publications. That is unless 
you happen to live in one of the big centers, 
in which case you can find amateur and 
semi-pro musicians expecting to contact 
others through the pages of the national 

4. Local Radio And T. V. I am not going 
to suggest that you should take out adver¬ 
tisements in the broadcasting media. The 
price would be quite prohibitive, and 
nobody would be expecting it, so you 



wouldn't reach the people you need to 
reach. However, local radio and T.V. sta¬ 
tions often run programs about local 
events in the arts, including music. You 
might find that, if approached in the right 
way, the people working there would put 
in a word for you, and ask anybody who is 
interested to contact you via the station. 
They might invite you in to say a few 
words, or even to play. This, particularly 
the latter, could be very intimidating for 
somebody with very little experience, so 
remember that you can decline. If, how¬ 
ever, you do find yourself appearing on the 
air, remember to think carefully about 
how you are presenting yourself, bearing 
in mind the particular medium being used. 
I say this because a friend of mine recently 
went on the radio to help promote a drum 
book he had written. When the presenter 
said "Good morning" to him, my friend 
waved back, forgetting that this wouldn't 
come across to the listeners. 

The thing to do is research the output of 
your local stations and find out whether 
any of them run a show on which air play is 
given to unknown local bands, or if there is 
regular news about what is going on in the 
area of entertainment. Write to the pro¬ 
ducer of that program. You will probably 
find that even if there isn't the air time to 
run a contact service, the producer can still 
be of help. Someone in such a position will 
know a lot about what is going on and 
could have some valuable ideas. 

5. The Union. Another person who will 
know a lot about what is happening on the 
local music scene is the area organizer or 
secretary for the AFM, or Musician's 
Union. As a beginner you won't be a mem¬ 
ber, but you will be a potential member. 
For this reason, the local union person 
should be prepared to help. But you must 
remember that it isn't part of the union's 
function to act as a contact service, and 
any help you receive will be more in the line 
of a personal favor from a union official 
rather than being in the line of duty, so you 
must respond accordingly. 

6. Teachers. Find out the names and 
phone numbers of local teachers who teach 
guitar, bass, keyboards, woodwind 
(including saxes) and brass. (The union 
would certainly be able to help on this 
one.) Contact these teachers and find out 
whether they have any students who might 
be interested in forming a band with you. 
It is probably wiser to concentrate on get¬ 
ting together with other rhythm section 
players (guitar, bass, keyboards) initially, 
and adding front-line instruments later, 
but if you have trouble finding rhythm sec¬ 

tion people, you might discover them 
through contacting other musicians. 
Teachers are likely to be helpful here 
because they will understand your prob¬ 
lems, and they will also be anxious for their 
own students to get some playing experi¬ 

7. Local Dramatic Societies. If there are 
dramatic societies in your area, they are 
worth contacting, because they often stage 
musical productions for which they 
require musicians. The style of music 
which you would be playing might not 
appeal to you much for its own sake; how¬ 
ever, the experience gained and the enjoy¬ 
ment of working on a production as part of 
a team are well worth the effort. 

8. Hanging Out. This one can be a prob¬ 
lem for people who are too young to go 
into bars and nightclubs, but a recurring 
theme in this article is that making contacts 
is the name of the game, and one of the 
most obvious ways to do this is simply to 
go where musicians are playing. If you can 
make yourself known, without becoming a 
pest, you can find various things happen¬ 
ing: The musicians may know of other 
bands forming, or people worth contact¬ 
ing; you might be invited to sit in and so be 
"discovered" on a local basis, or you 
might meet other young musicians who are 
doing exactly what you are doing—trying 
to make contacts. Even if none of these 
things happen, remember that by going to 
listen to live bands you are giving yourself 

valuable experience. Careful observation 
of a live band is generally better than lis¬ 
tening to records or watching T.V.; it is the 
next best thing to actually playing. 

The different suggestions here, if acted 
upon, will in some cases lead you towards 
different types of experience. For instance, 
if you want to play rock and can't find an 
existing band to join, your best bet is to get 
together with some other like-minded peo¬ 
ple and form one. Alternatively, if you 
want to be a show drummer, the dramatic 
society is the best opening, or if you prefer 
the big band music, the thing for you is a 
school band or a local rehearsal band. I 
know that one's interest in drumming is 
usually sparked by inspiration from a par¬ 
ticular source, but it doesn't pay to be too 
single-minded in your approach. Any 
playing experience (with a few possible 
exceptions) is good for musical develop¬ 
ment, and to turn down opportunities is 
unwise. If you can manage to form your 
own rock band, be in the school band and 
do the shows for the local dramatic soci¬ 
ety, then so much the better. You never 
know when any of the experience gained 
might put you in good stead. Also, remem¬ 
ber that (sad to say) we all get older, and as 
we get older our tastes often change. 

Please remember one other thing too: 
The learning process never ends. So when 
you start rehearsing and performing with a 
band it isn't the end of the story; it's onlv 
the beginning. 


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by Mark Hurley 


Phrasing With A Big Band 

Phrasing for big band can be defined as the manner in which a 
drummer utilizes the components of the drumset to accent the var¬ 
ied sectional and ensemble figures. It's a subtle art in which good 
taste, careful listening and accurate interpretation of the written 
part are critical. However, proper phrasing with a big band boils 
down to nothing more than a few basic principles which are not 
difficult to understand or apply. Let's begin by looking at a typical 
12-bar rhythmic line written for a trumpet section, or a full ensem- 
t»le: 3 

J J = * 7* 

m pg 11 m i i i i 

? f? t if 

Before you can approach the figures above in a musical manner, 
it's necessary to key in on the length of each note in the line. We can 
easily do this by breaking our example down into short notes and 
long notes. We'll define "short notes" as including quarter notes, 
8th notes, and anything smaller than 8th notes. "Long notes" 
include anything larger than a quarter note, such as dotted quar¬ 
ters, half notes, 8ths tied to quarters or dotted quarters, etc. 

Let's look at the same 12-bar line. Practice it first, by singing the 
line aloud with the proper long- and short-note phrasing. 


p 1 rn 

0 0 - 0 7# • = Short Note — = Long Note 

fully. Oftentimes, the drum part will not indicate which section of 
the band will be playing what figures. Here again, follow these 
simple guidelines: For short notes, play the snare drum, the bass 
drum, or the two together. For long notes, play a crash cymbal 
with the snare drum, a crash and the bass drum, or all three 

Let's assume the chart is being played at a medium tempo (quar¬ 
ter note = 126). At this tempo, it's necessary to maintain the ride 
cymbal time pattern as indicated below. Though perfect indepen¬ 
dent coordination is not absolutely essential, a pulse should be 
maintained or suggested throughout. Practice the following exam¬ 
ple until you clearly understand how the application of the rules 
we've just learned come together for a clean and precise interpreta¬ 
tion of the music. 3 

J = 

R Cytn^ 


Cr Cyfr 

71 = 71 

J JJ’ILflJj 

——ar “—t-— sJ—m — 

t- jl_ 


B D 0 

i2j- #rnp— ww — 

00 0 

rf v f \ 

\T I 


v- c i if 

i p~ 0 ur ts:: 

' mr.m mm m MMJ 

\ ♦ 

r • I 


0 l j 

• • • • — — • • 

•l* M0M00 00 ^ 

^ il 

Competent phrasing simply means using those elements of the 
drumset which best simulate the long or short articulation of the 
section or full ensemble. Obviously, it's essential to listen care- 

Now let's assume the same chart is to be played at a brisk up¬ 
tempo (quarter note = 184). At a faster tempo, it is easier to take 
more liberty with the ride cymbal time feel. In this case, most expe¬ 
rienced big band drummers will concentrate on phrasing the fig¬ 
ures accurately, with less concern for maintaining a strict ride cym¬ 
bal rhythm. A good example of this can be found at bars 2, 3, and 7 
in the example below, where the snare drum and cymbal play in 
unison, and at bars 6 and 10, where the short 8th notes are all 
played on the snare drum. Practice the example somewhat slower 
at first, gradually building up to the suggested tempo. 

71 = 71 




By Jacques Capelle 



( 6 ) 


y - ~ - u f i m 0 m i m 




S _0 0 0 0 0 * X # r # 

( 10 ) 

R R LR, 

( 11 ) 

g: J7P' J 4 

( 12 ) 


Developing the ability to phrase musically with a big band takes 
practice and experience. Study the drum parts to big band arrange¬ 
ments as you listen to the recordings. You should also try tran¬ 
scribing your own. Most of all, listen to the highly individual styles 
of big band masters like Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Mel Lewis 
and Ed Shaughnessy for a clearer understanding, and for inspira¬ 
tion. SR 

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Paice continued from page 25 
with. Things went over the top in the early 
70s when everybody started getting pre¬ 
cise about what was allowed in the studio 
and how to get sounds. Even in those days, 
the free thinking seemed to be closing 
down on sounds. It's come full circle 
again. Everybody is getting these terrible 
electronic sounds, synthesizers and such, 
and there's no size to anything. It's just 
pure impact and everything is so incredibly 
dull. There's no excitement to it—clever, 
yes, and interesting sound-wise to a point, 
but there's no excitement. There are no 
people playing. It's the easy way out for 
young musicians to sound good without 
actually playing. All they have to do is 
keep time and play a straight tempo. 

RF: Do you have any words of wisdom on 
how to teach yourself to play? 

IP: I had no choice; there was nobody to 
teach me. But I would say that, if you have 
a teacher in your area, learn the basics and 
then forget it. Learning the basics will save 
you five or six years of struggling to find 
them all over again once you think you can 
play. It's a very destructive thing to think 
you've been playing five or six years and 
you can't play. There are things you just 
don't know how to do, and they're so sim¬ 
ple when somebody shows you how to do 
them. So learn the basics. Then if you feel 
you don't want to be like your teachers, 
teach yourself from there. But if you want 
perfection and want to be precise, then 
stay with the teacher. It depends on what 

you want out of music. 

RF: And how do you teach yourself from 

IP: You play with records. Play whatever 
turns you on when you listen to a record 
until you know how to do it, or until what 
you do sounds better than the record. 
Sometimes you find that what the drum¬ 
mer is playing is totally against the way you 
feel the thing, and that your way sounds 
even better to you. The great thing about 
teaching yourself is that you learn very 
quickly what does not work. Listening to 
records is the easiest and quickest way to 
do it. It helps you formulate your own style 
too because you're not listening to one per¬ 
son. You're drawing from three or four, 
and adding whatever you think is slightly 
better. That way, you become your own 
person. When you start listening to one 
person alone—a teacher or one person on 
record—you become just a copy and fac¬ 
simile of that person, which doesn't do any 
good for you in the long run. You'll just 
get nowhere. 

RF: When Deep Purple started, were you 
guys concerned that most of your success 
was in the United States? 

IP: No, we were just happy to have success 
somewhere. It didn't really matter where. 
Even in those days, Purple was a very 
expensive band to run. We had to earn our 
keep. Money was advanced, yet we had to 
work hard. We couldn't say, "Oh, we 
don't feel like playing this week . . ."The 
success in England really didn't come until 

the band changed format. That's when the 
band became what all these heavy metal 
bands are trying to be now. 

RF: Do you find that the heavy metal of 
yesteryear is very different from today's? 
IP: Oh yeah. Basically, we worked 
through a progression to become what we 
were in the early 70s. We went through all 
sorts of changes. We went through playing 
soul and disco at the time. That's where we 
earned our bread and butter. You couldn't 
just go out and play really loud, aggressive 
music because there was no such thing. 

RF: So you did cover tunes in the begin¬ 

IP: On the first Purple records, there are 
covers of Beatles songs and Joe South. 
Through a natural progression we ended 
up with something that was different 
enough to become successful. Now it 
seems that the first thing to go for is to copy 
what took us a lot of years to get to, but 
that's all they can do. 

RF: Do you feel that playing the other 
styles helped you to develop the style that 
eventually became appropriate for Deep 

IP: Yes, it had to. That's why I can't really 
think of one heavy metal band—maybe 
with the exception of Def Leppard—who 
plays anything different. They all sound 
like each other. You could never say that 
about Zeppelin, Purple or Sabbath in 
those days. Everybody was different. We 
all had our own little things that were ours. 
Def Leppard is about the only young band 

Carmine Appice is a working drummer in the fullest sense of the word. When 
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As a drummer you're allways looking for more possibilities and 
accessories to improve your sound 
Electronic drumkits. pads, synthesizers, interface devices are 
not only rather expensive solutions but have little in common 
with your familiar instrument Moreover, all these microphones 
around your kit cause the sound engineer many problems 
and often little results. 

The DIGISOUNDS from TED resolve these problems simply 
and cheaply And the drummer remains the drummer 
and will not be substituted by a computer! 

The core of our system is the DIGISOUND, in which 
we've put a digital stored sound And you can make 
a choice between perfect percussive sounds such 
as snare, bassdrum. tomtom, handclaps, conga 
and many other exciting voices. A small transducer, 
for instance on your bassdrum (see photo), is 
connected with the input of your Digisound The 
output leads to an amp or PA. mixer So you 
always obtain a fantastic basic sound on stage 
and in studio. 

And still with your own drumoutfiti 

Thanks to our extensive "sound-library" the 
possibilities are enormous With a Digisound 
unit "model synth tom" your tomtom becomes the most 
modern electronic tomtom, as you can hear on many 
hit records. 

And then there are still the many other applications such as 
trggering on tape signals, manual operation etc 






For Digisound dealerships or for a free Digisound catalog write 

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•*r <• * a ji a » *• fipcit j 

nv©ojri ,y;N w»t* 3 f; t*- •/ *. • r *, jfi 

. . i 

M't'.jfariui' 3 by » ' Wi|» ' - Ttt / i K- *tf-- ir i- 


I've seen actually play with a good degree 
of talent and quality, and with an under¬ 
standing of each other. Most of them just 
plug in, turn it up and have a good time, 
which is okay to a certain extent, but 
there's more to it. 

RF: There were some personnel changes in 
the group, although each person stayed for 
a lengthy amount of time. What are the 
advantages and disadvantages to working 
in a band that long? 

IP: There are definite advantages staying 
with one outfit for a long time. Of course if 
it's a successful one, you can pick and 
choose the rest of your life, really. I found 
no great problem after Purple split. I tried 
one venture which wasn't very success¬ 

ful—a band Jon Lord and I put together 
called Paice, Ashton and Lord. 

RF: That only lasted a year. 

IP: The basic idea was good and the music 
was okay, but it didn't work. It was clear 
on stage that it just wasn't quite right. It 
cost a lot of money, so we said, "That's it. 
It's not going to happen," and we just cut 
our losses. Then I sort of gave it up for a 
little while. I'm not a fanatical musician at 
all. It makes no difference to me whether I 
stay or not. It would be quite easy for me 
not to see a drumkit for two months. 

RF: Then you come back to it fresher. 

IP: Maybe that's it. I haven't played a kit 
seriously for the last three weeks, and in 
two days' time I'm going to do some clin- 


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ics, so the first one should be hilarious. I’ll 
be going for things that I haven't a chance 
in hell to get. But who cares? People know 
what I can do. If they see me having a bad 
night, they know it's a bad night. I’m not a 
fanatic who cares that every night is per¬ 
fect, and I’m not going to change my 
whole life-style just to please other people. 
RF: Do you feel that by playing with the 
same band for so long you take the risk of 
it becoming stale? 

IP: Not stale so much as you tend to 
become a little limited in what you think 
you can do. You forget that there are other 
things you can actually play. I find it very, 
very difficult when I'm in a situation where 
I'm playing one sort of music to stop and 
say, "I've got a session where I have to 
play for a three-minute pop single." I have 
to change the idea of sound. I have to 
change what I think I'm going to play. I 
find that very difficult, whereas if I had a 
more free-moving career, I'd be doing that 
all the time. 

RF: Have you done many sessions? 

IP: Not a lot, but then again, I always 
charge a lot of money because it's not 
really my interest, and there are a lot of 
other people who do it a lot better than I 
do. People who want a good record really 
should go to people who work in studios all 
the time, because they'll get a much better 
product. When they call me it's just 
because they want my name. Then they 
have to pay for it. Usually, they're fright¬ 
ened by the money I charge, so it works out 
best for both of us. They keep their money 
and I get to stay home. 

RF: Were you actually ready for Purple to 
end when it did? 

IP: No. What should have happened was, 
when Ritchie said he wanted to quit, we 
should have said, "Let's just stop and look 
at this." He, Jon and I should have sat 
down and said, "Look, if it's because of 
Glen Hughes and David Coverdale and 
what they're doing, then let's change the 
band again or let's just take two years off. 
We'll all do what we want, come back in 
two years' time and look at it again." 
That's what we should have done, because 
if we had, it would have continued through 
to now, and we'd have had a lot of fun all 
along. We would have done a tour every 
two years, made a record and still had the 
nice social circle. But when Ritchie left, we 
were a bit silly. We were determined to 
carry on and we brought Tommy Bolin in. 
As good a player as he was in the studio, he 
was hopeless on stage. When he got on a 
big stage, he just seemed to freeze up. 
Instead of playing a solo, he'd end up 
shouting at the audience and arguing with 

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them. Plus, there was his personal prob¬ 
lem, which didn't help at all. That's when 
it became too much. 

RF: Is working in a guitar-oriented situa¬ 
tion different from working in a vocal-ori¬ 
ented situation? 

IP: I find it a lot easier to play with a lead 
instrumentalist rather than a lead vocalist. 
There's a lot more freedom. With a vocal¬ 
ist like David [Coverdale], what he's doing 
is so all-encompassing that there is very lit¬ 
tle space left for anybody else to do much. 
When you're doing a solo, then you can let 
go, but when what you're selling is basi¬ 
cally an instrumental thing with lyrics, 
there's the freedom to do certain things. In 
guitar-oriented bands, just by virtue of the 
fact that they're thinking along the same 
lines as you are, they give you a lot more 
freedom and they leave a lot more gaps. 
Gary [Moore] played, and although he 
sang, he still thought with an instrumental¬ 
ist's brain. There were places to play 
things. With singers, it's their thing and 
they're out front doing the whole thing. 
Really, you just fade into the background. 
There's nothing you can do about it and 
there's nothing the singer can do about it. 
RF: I ve heard that working with Ritchie 
Blackmore is very difficult. 

IP: It can be. It can also be very easy. He's 
a very changeable person. He's not very 
tolerant of fools and he knows what he 
wants. Whether it's right or wrong is not 
really the point. He knows what he wants. 
If he doesn't think it's being done properly 
or if it doesn't go the way he thinks, then 
he'll say, "I'm not doing it." There's no 
point in talking about it. He's not doing it. 
RF: Doesn't that make it difficult . . . 

IP: Of course it's difficult, but you accept 
in the end that that's the way he is. That 
terrible old cliche "the show must go on" 
is really true, though. Actually, there were 
gigs where Ritchie didn't like the gig, and 
he'd sit in the dressing room and play the 
whole gig from there. He wouldn't go on 
stage. "I don't like this place." We'd just 
do it anyway. But I don't know what it is; 
people like bad guys. I think Ritchie has 
known this for a long time, and I think he's 
actually nurtured the image a little bit. I 
think it's genuine, but I think he's helped it 
along a bit. 

RF: Can you recall particular tunes that 
you are proud of or enjoyed? 

IP: Only if I play the records. The obvious 
ones—the big hits—you can always 
remember those, but some of those satisfy¬ 
ing ones weren't singles. They were just 
album tracks. 

RF: Can you recall any of those? 

IP: On the In Rock album, I thought "Liv¬ 
ing Wreck" was good. It was a good drum 

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sound and I thought the feel was right. IP: Not to the end, no. The last year was 

There were some interesting fills in it. The not fun at all. It was pure fun until Gillan 

Tommy Bolin album we did, Come Taste 
The Band, had a track called "The 
Dealer." It was just so easy to play. The 
fills were good. I thought all the live 
albums were good. They captured a lot 
more of what was going on. It didn't mat¬ 
ter about good or bad; it was feeling and 
energy, which is never captured in the stu¬ 
dio. Zeppelin, on the other hand, made 
wonderful studio albums and the live stuff 
was hopeless. They probably got it right at 
making superior studio records, but I 
think we probably had a lot more fun by 
being that much better on stage. 

RF: Was it fun to the end? 

left because he was very funny on the road 



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in those times. You never knew what he 
was going to do next. You never knew if 
Ritchie was going to turn up. It was just 
very exciting. On the night something went 
wrong, it was terrible, but when you look 
back on it months later, it's hilarious. That 
was good. From the time David and Glenn 
joined, it just wasn't the same. The fun 
had left. 

RF: After Lord, Ashton & Paice was 
Whitesnake, which was very blues ori¬ 

IP: Right. Basically. I thought, "If I'm 
going to go back into a rock 'n' roll band, I 
don't want to go back and do a copy of 
Purple." David was basing it a lot more on 
blues than Purple ever was. I thought it 
would be a nice change to play a different 
style. The first two albums I made with 
Whitesnake were very much that way. 
Then it started changing again, and I sort 
of got lost and couldn’t find anything to 
play. In all blues music there's a freedom; 
no matter whether it's white, black, pink, 
carefully arranged or not arranged, there's 
a freedom in it. Towards the end, the songs 
were becoming more and more complete, 
finished items. You had to play one style to 
make the song work, or it wouldn't work 
at all. That's not what I grew up doing. I 
found that if the feel in the song was some¬ 
thing I didn't actually agree with, it didn't 
matter; I couldn't go anywhere else. The 
last album I made with them, called Saints 
And Sinners, is not a good album. The 
drumming on it is very, very average—not 

what I would consider to be me at all. I had 
no idea of what to play. It was just a com¬ 
plete sort of mental blank. I think at that 
point David realized it wasn't going along 
the way he wanted it to, and I decided I 
really couldn't contribute much more the 
way it was going, so we parted ways. 

RF: Then you met up with Gary Moore. 
IP: It was about November of '82. Initially 
that was just supposed to be an album 
date. I was going to make the first album 
with him and that would be it. But the 
album turned out so nicely, and I wasn't 
really doing anything, so his manager 
came up with the idea of Gary and me put¬ 
ting a band together. It would be under his 
name, they would take all the hassles—all 
the business problems, the worry, finding 
the money—and I would have a sizeable 
interest in the band. That was good enough 
for me. I would have all the fun of playing 
plus an incentive to do well and earn 
money, but without any of the heartache. 
RF: What did you enjoy about that situa¬ 
tion, musically? 

IP: I can't analyze that. I just enjoyed it. 
We had a very strange occurrence in the 
studio on the second album. We went to a 
fairly new studio which hadn't gotten all 
the little bugs wrinkled out. The first two 
or three nights, we were just going over 
and over the same couple of tracks. We 
weren't playing properly and I started to 
feel that I couldn't play just from things 
happening like the studio breaking 
down—monitors not right, tape machine 

not lined up right. When you have to play 
the song maybe 15 times in a day, you can't 
play anymore. The album was on quite a 
tight budget, but I needed a week off. We 
decided to bring another drummer in to cut 
some tracks. So we brought Bobby 
Chouinard from Billy Squire's band over. 
He did a couple of tracks, I came back 
fresh a week later, and we finished up in 
four days. That had never happened 
before where I couldn't actually physically 
play in the studio. I couldn't keep time; I 
couldn't think. I had just gone over it too 
many times. I got away from it and the ini¬ 
tial problem was gone. I was thinking, 
"What am I going to tell people?" In the 
end, I decided "Sod it, I just can't play. I'll 
take a week off and see how it goes." I 
came back and found I still could play. So I 
decided just to tell the truth. 

RF: How has your equipment changed 
through the years? 

IP: The biggest change came in the early 
70s when I switched from a standard kit to 
a very big bass drum kit. That was a Car¬ 
mine influence. I heard my rinky dinky 22" 
and heard his 26", and there was no com¬ 
parison. But you can't use a 26” inthestu- 
dio; it's just too big. On stage, they can 
explode if you mike them right, though. I 
was with Ludwig from the day I could 
afford a kit in the '60s, and then I managed 
to get an endorsement until a couple of 
years ago. Ever since the company was 
sold, the drums just haven't been the same. 
They're made just as well; it's just in the 



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quality control. You find it very hard to get 
a key on the tension rods because the mid¬ 
dle of the rim sticks out too far and little 
things like that. Those things never used to 
happen and they shouldn't happen now. 
So I began to check other companies out. I 
thought Pearl was best looking and they're 
particularly nicely finished drums. Drums 
are drums, and the rest is really what you 
think they look like. The sound is up to 
you; I don't care what anybody says. If 
you get two drums made to a certain stand¬ 
ard, they'll sound the same. I just decided 
they made the best product. Apart from 
the obvious change of drum company, 
nothing has changed really. I might experi¬ 
ment on stage putting in some electric trig¬ 
gering devices off the microphones to 
maybe beef up the sound a little bit. But 
I've tried that in the studio, and it actually 
sounds better without it. I wouldn't be sur¬ 
prised if I ended up with straight drumkit 
and leave well enough alone. 

RF: Any words of wisdom on tuning? 

IP: I never, ever try to tell other people 
how they should tune a drum. 

RF: How do you tune? 

IP: I don't tune high. The only thing I tune 
high is the snare drum. Sometimes I tune 
that too high, so somebody has to tell me. 
But with a snare drum, it has to be clean. 
You don’t get a clean sound from low tun¬ 
ing. It becomes very muddy. You have to 
find that balance where you've got hit and 
impact, and also have the clarity. With the 
toms it's just a matter of hearing the 
weight. When it's got some weight, it's 
right. Anybody can hit a drum and tell it's 
out of tune. It's a matter of whether you 
want the big sound or a fast response. I 
tend to go for the big sound. The fast 
response is very handy if you have to play 
quickly all the time, but I don't really play 
that fast. My speed is generally limited to 
the snare drum and independence things 
where I'm using two or three parts of my 
body to create the overall sound—not just 
hands to create speed. So I don't need that 
fast response. 

RF: What about soloing? 

IP: That's pot luck. All drummers have 
their own tricks, and it just depends on 
whether or not they get the tricks in the 
right order. 

RF: Can you reveal any of your tricks? 

IP: The simplest one is just being able to 


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perfect the daddy-mommy between the 
snare drum and the bass drum. If you get 
the placing of the notes right on two bass 
drums, it gives your hands time to do inde¬ 
pendent things and the sound never stops. 
It's the sort of thing people need two bass 
drums to do. You never develop that dev¬ 
astating power that two bass drums can 
have. You can fool so many people with 
what you're doing because you have so 
much speed going. It's impossible for the 
audience to figure it out. If you've got two 
bass drums, the audience can see what 
you're doing. But when you'vejust got one 
foot, nobody can see how you can get two 
or three notes happening by sliding your 
foot forward on the bass drum pedal. Peo¬ 
ple just don't know what's going on, and 
they think you're better than you are. 

RF: Can you define for me what qualities 
make up a good rock drummer? 

IP: A lot of natural musical aggression ini¬ 
tially, and knowing when to control and 
when to let go. There are certain points in a 
song where you must hold back and certain 
points where you must let go. You've got 
to know those instinctively. You have got 
to have a lot of power, and you have to 
know how to conserve that strength 
because you're playing for an hour and a 
half or two hours. Very little of it has to do 
with actual drumming. It's a matter of 
how you look at the music you're playing. 
When you're playing rock 'n' roll, you're 
just driving along. You're not actually try¬ 
ing to be a virtuoso. You're just holding it 
together and hopefully making it swing. 
You've got your solo bit to be on your own 
and be clever. You've got to make sure that 
the band knows who is controlling it, and 
be sure they can hear you. It doesn't matter 
how many mic's you've got on the kit. If 
you're playing quietly, all you're going to 
get is feedback. You must have that natu¬ 
ral aggression. 

RF: Looking back, what do you feel was 
required of you as the drummer for Deep 

IP: To be exciting. Purple should never 
have worked. Basically, we had five ego¬ 
maniacs. There was just a magical chemis¬ 
try that allowed us to get some good stuff. I 
can't think of any other band who has been 
allowed that much freedom for all the 
members to do exactly what they wanted. 
We were just lucky that the chemistry was 





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right and people felt it. There was a real 
telepathy among the band members, and 
that meant I had a lot of freedom to play 
exactly what I wanted, where I wanted and 
when I wanted. It wasn't even a matter of 
keeping time. It was a very exciting band. 
RF: What was your role in Whitesnake? 
IP: To be controlled. The tempo was 
totally different. It takes a lot more control 
to play slowly than it does to play quickly. 
That was why it was interesting in the 
beginning. It was different things to play. 

What I did with Gary was a little bit in 
between what Purple was and how White- 
snake started out. I had a touch more free¬ 
dom, but still had to keep the control 
because the tempos of the day are totally 
different from what we were playing ten or 
15 years ago. 

RF: Have you had to alter your playing 
with Deep Purple currently to accommo¬ 
date the times? 

IP: There are certain things we're doing 
now that we never did. There is a lot of 
medium-tempo stuff which was sort of a 
no-go area back in the old days. Now it is a 
very well-liked kind of thing. That, for me, 
is not something I am particularly good at. 
From a personal point of view, I like things 
incredibly slow or incredibly fast. A 
medium-tempo thing doesn't actually give 
a drummer a lot to do. Generally, the 
songs that come out medium tempo are 
very commercial. In the old days it was 
either incredibly down, heavy-duty sort of 
stuff, or 300-miles-an-hour, trust-in-the- 
Lord sort of things. 

RF: Are you apprehensive at all about 
being back together after all these years? 
IP: Before we rehearsed I was a little 
apprehensive, wondering if it—meaning 
us—had changed too much. After a couple 
of days of playing together, it was the same 
kick. That's the magic that happens, with 
the possible "hiccups." If Ritchie, God 
bless him, gets a huge buzz on his amp, 
he'll turn around, take the guitar off and 
go home. He says that if he can't play 
properly, he won't play at all. I'm pre¬ 
pared for that happening this time around, 
and I should just sit back and let the world 
go by instead of worrying about it. I'm 
hoping it won't happen at all, but I have to 
keep my mind open to the possibilities of 
things going wrong. The general mood is 
that optimism would be too small of a 
word. It's very exciting. 

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by Laura Metallo, Ph.D. and Charlie Perry 

New Concepts For Improved 

How often have you felt tension spreading 
throughout the muscles in your body, but 
didn't know exactly how to relieve yourself 
of that undesirable feeling? Nearly every 
drummer has experienced this sensation 
sometime or another when practicing, per¬ 
forming, or just before going on stage. 

Obviously, you can't play your best 
when this is happening. Anxiety-caused 
tension makes muscle tone lose its needed 
flexibility. What you want is the right bal¬ 
ance of readiness and repose on which the 
successful action of mind and body 
depends. To achieve this state, relaxation 
is essential. 

Although your mind might tell your 
body to relax, your body might not listen, 
because the ability to relax is a learned 
skill. Fortunately, it's a skill that can be 
easily learned by most people. And when 
mastered, it truly helps to make perform¬ 
ance more productive and rewarding. The 
following formula contains a series of sim¬ 
ple exercises that will teach you relaxation 
techniques. As you begin the format, you 
should immediately, or soon afterward, 
notice its calming effects. 

Learning To Relax 

Set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted 
time in an area where there will be no dis¬ 
tractions. Absolutely nothing must inter¬ 
fere with your relaxation exercise. Be 
seated in a firm, comfortable chair. Place 
your head back. Then move it around in a 
circular motion from left to right. Now 
place your legs forward. Make certain that 
your feet remain firmly flat on the floor. 
Take a deep breath and hold it for eight 
seconds. Slowly exhale. You should be 
feeling relaxed. 

The next exercise directs attention to 
your hands. Clutch them into a tight fist 
while taking a deep breath. Hold that posi¬ 
tion for eight seconds. You'll feel pressure 
and tightness. Now exhale, while releasing 
your clenched fists. Notice the difference in 

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your sensations. In their clenched posi¬ 
tion, your fists were experiencing tension. 
Only when they were released did relaxa¬ 
tion begin to occur. Once again, clench 
your fists while taking a deep breath. There 
should be tension in your hands. Hold the 
position for eight seconds. Then relax your 
hands, while exhaling. Study the difference 
in feelings. They are the opposite of pres¬ 
sure and tension. Allow this sensation to 
grow by remaining in this position for 30 

To spread this feeling throughout your 
body, first tense and relax your biceps by 
following the same pattern used for the 
hands. Remember that all sequences must 
be performed twice on each muscle. Now 
proceed to perform the exercise on the tri¬ 
ceps, forehead, nose, mouth, neck, shoul¬ 
ders, stomach, thighs, calves, and finally, 

After completing the toe exercise, check 
the tension throughout your body. In 
order to do this, first focus on your arms. 
Take a deep breath. Tell yourself to relax 
and release any remaining tightness in your 
arms. Next, focus on your face. Remove 
all tension by relaxing your forehead. Take 
a deep breath and hold it for eight seconds. 
Tell yourself to relax and release your 
breath. Notice how the relaxation con¬ 
tinues to grow and develop on its own. 
Sense the warm current flowing through 
your body. Sense how heavy and comfort¬ 
able your limbs and your body feel. 
Through this form of relaxation, you can 
enjoy the feelings of warmth and comfort 
due to the absence of tension. By telling 
yourself to relax as you exhale, you can 
become more and more relaxed. 

Practice every day for 20 minutes. With 
enough training, your brain will be pro¬ 
grammed to relax your body at will. Every 
time you take a deep breath and slowly 
exhale, you will feel free of bodily tension. 
And the more you use the relaxation tech¬ 
nique, the more it will work for you. 

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Role Modeling And Visual Imagery 

Once you have mastered the relaxation 
exercises, you are ready to begin another 
phase of learning that will help improve 
your drumming skills. In this section, you 
will be taught to use the methods called 
modeling and visual imagery. 

Do you recall as a child when your world 
of play included mimicking the behavior 
of the adult world, or when in the course of 
make-believe, you imitated the boxing 
techniques of champion prize fighters you 
saw on TV? Perhaps you watched older 
children playing basketball in the school 
yard, and when you were given the chance 
to play, you dunked the ball in much the 
same way as your models did. In these very 
basic cases, you learned certain behavior 
by modeling, that is, you learned by watch¬ 
ing and then imitating what you saw. 

In the aforementioned situations you 
learned naturally, without much thinking. 
Now, however, you can use modeling as a 
learning device to improve your skills. 
Regardless of your proficiency as a drum¬ 
mer, you still learn new techniques or 
improve on what you already know, by 
watching and listening. For example, when 
observing another drummer's technique to 
borrow certain admired mechanics, you 
will, through the process of seeing, hear¬ 
ing, and imitating, learn to eventually per¬ 
form these in much the same way as your 
model. But in order for modeling to be 
effective, you must first learn to relax and 
focus your undivided attention on your 
model. Furthermore, if you watch a model 
you admire, you will learn more. 

Modeling will help improve the initial 
skill, but you must first possess that skill. It 
will not make a drummer out of someone 
who has none of the required attributes 
(good timing, good coordination, good 
ears). Putting it in the most simplistic 
terms, modeling won't do a thing for an 
armless individual. 

























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When using the modeling technique, 
what you see and hear (the audio/visual 
impression) whether consciously or uncon¬ 
sciously, is the picture that goes into your 
memory bank. While watching your role 
model, your mind is recording the physical 
movements of the sticks, selected runs 
around the drumset, and the manipulation 
of the foot pedals in producing rhythm and 

Since rhythm, sound, and motion are 
inseparable in drumming, it is especially 
important to correlate what you see with 
what you hear in forming the complete 
audio/visual picture. In time, such sight/ 
sound impressions will become incorpo¬ 
rated into your drumming style. This proc¬ 
ess allows you to use a role model as a 
starting point or a source from which to 
draw. But it does not mean that you should 
lock yourself into another drummer's style 
or become a carbon copy. Eventually, 
what you have assimilated will be reshaped 
by your individuality. 

When using visual imagery in self-pro¬ 
gramming, you will visualize yourself as 
the model. For example, Steve Hegg, a 19- 
year-old member of the U.S. Alpine Ski 
Team, says that when he is going to ski a 
downhill course which he already skied 
before, he sits in his room the night before 
the meet and visualizes himself making 
perfect turns in the toughest part of the 
course. He says that imaging is like taking 
extra training runs, and that it makes him 
feel as if he can nearly reproduce on the 
real course what he perfected on the imagi¬ 
nary course in his head the night before. 

Using modeling and visual imagery as a 
very young child, the great Buddy Rich 
taught himself to drum. While standing off 
stage in the wings of a vaudeville theater, 
he observed some of the best pit drummers 
in the business. Because of the very fast 
tempos they had to play, while reading 
music, watching the conductor, and catch¬ 
ing the moves of dancers or jugglers, pit 
drummers played with an economy of 
body motion. Their moves were direct, 
without great flourishes, going right to the 
drum or cymbal they intended to strike. 
Buddy's drumming style clearly reflects 
this pragmatic approach to drumset per¬ 
formance. Even though Buddy was too 
small to sit behind the drumset, he was able 
to stand at the drums and reproduce the 
single and double strokes around the 
drums and cymbals that he had seen dem¬ 
onstrated by his models. 

How To Practice Menially 

After you are relaxed and have had suffi- 

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cient time to observe role models, close 
your eyes and mentally picture yourself 
performing a particular skill. Start slowly, 
making certain to practice only one skill at 
a time. Visualize yourself playing per¬ 
fectly. Actually feel the muscle sets in play. 
The degree of intensity involved in their 
movements should be combined with what 
your mind sees. Imagine a solo, a rhyth¬ 
mic-tonal pattern, or a technical exercise 
for the hands and feet. See it and feel it to 
the degree where you mentally, physically 
and emotionally experience it to th efullest 
extent throughout your entire body. This 
must be done many times over, stroke after 
stroke, rhythm after rhythm, until you feel 
you have it down. 

If at first it is difficult to see yourself in 
your mind, replace your image with that of 
another drummer. Use that drummer's 
image during the mental practice sessions 
until the time when you are ready to 
replace this image with a picture of your¬ 

In addition to their widespread use in 
sports, relaxation and visual imagery are 
being applied in many other fields where 
performance, especially under pressure, is 
paramount to success. It makes sense that 
more attention should be given to the vari¬ 
ous psychological and emotional factors 
that underlie musical performance. It is to 
the drummer's advantage to learn and to 
apply the appropriate techniques in order 
to improve his or her performance skills. f*j 




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Buddy Rich: 

"Keep The Customer Satisfied 

Transcribed by Jim Nesbitt 


Here is the Buddy Rich solo from the title cut of his album, Keep The Customer Satisfied (Liberty: Pacific Jazz Series, LST 11006). Buddy's 
solo is 34 bars in length (26 + 8), which conforms to the chart. The 12/8 notation is the same as 4/4 triplets, but without all of the triplet 
indications. This is a funky tune, with the solo building variations on the pattern in bars 1 and 2. 

The phrasing of the 26-bar section might be divided 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5 (dashed lines). In front of each division there is a pickup (beats 3 and 4 
of bar 5; all of bar 9; beats 3 and 4 of bar 13; all of bar 17; beat 4 of bar 21), so that the ideas flow from one to another. The first 13 bars stop 
at odd intervals with cymbal crashes; the second 13 go virtually nonstop, building to fast paradiddle licks in bars 27-28 and then back to 
odd-beat cymbal crashes and out. In classical form, this would be a sonata. 

The sticking is very speculative. At laid-back tempos like this, Buddy, being Buddy, is often quicker than he sounds on record, so there is 
a mixture of lazy arcs and swift strikes by the right hand. The latter are in bars 6-7, 8, 9, 18, 19, 27-28. Bars 4-5 and 17-18 contain left 
crossovers to the floor tom. In bars 22-25, on the unison strokes, only the toms are accented. 

Accents on this chart come in three dynamics—light, medium or heavy—indicated by the size of the accent mark. Horizontal accents 
above the staff are always rimshots. (Note: "medium" rimshots can be quite loud, as Buddy uses strong wrist-snaps.) Vertical accents are 
drumhead accents. Horizontal accents below the staff are drumhead accents on the floor tom or bass drum. 

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Reviewers: Rick Mattingly, William F. Miller, Rick Van Horn 

Columbia FC3937. S. Smith: 
dr, pno, perc. T. Landers: bs, 
tnr bs, taurus pdls. D. Wilc- 
zewski: sxs. E. Albers: gtr. D. 
Brown: gtr, gtr synth, pno. 
Future Primitive/Thank You 
Mr. Edison/The Strut/Orion/ 
Blade/The Adventures Of Elec¬ 
tor And Jose/Shadows Past/ 
Blues To Bappe II. 

This album could be subti¬ 
tled "The two sides of Steve 
Smith and Vital Information." 
It is very definitely two different 
styles of performance by this 
very versatile drummer and his 
equally versatile band. As Steve 
puts it, "Side one is more rock- 
oriented and aggressive, and 
side two is lighter and more 
jazz-oriented. It's much more 
conceptual than the first." Side 
one is the fusionesque, high- 
energy material we might 
expect from this group. Smith's 
drums sound monstrous, and 
are played with fire and drive. 
Side two opens with a surprise. 
"Blade" comes on with a very 
tight-sounding solo by Smith; 
a small-kit, Tony Williams 
acoustic sound, leading into 
what is every inch a bebop fea¬ 
ture piece. It’s electric, to be 
sure, but that is incidental; the 
tune swings! Smith is at once 
brilliant, and almost unrecog¬ 
nizable, if one is unfamiliar 
with his mainstream jazz back¬ 
ground. From "Blade," side 
two progresses through a light 
Latin piece ("The Adventures 
Of Hector And Jose") to 
"Shadows Past," a piece that 
opens with a free-form solo by 
Steve—once again featuring a 
small-kit sound. Speed and 
dynamics are nicely displayed, 
leading into a "mood piece" 
for the rest of the band. The 

side finishes out with a swinging 
blues ("Blues To Bappe II"), 
completing a very interesting 
batch of material. RVH 

SCANDAL — Warrior. Colum¬ 
bia FC39173. P. Smyth: vcl. Z. 
Smith, K. Mack: gtr, vcl. I. 
Elias: bs. Thommy Price, Andy 
Newmark, Pat Mastelotto: dr. 
The Warrior/Beat Of A Heart/ 
Hands Tied/Less Than Half/ 
Only The Young/All I Want/ 
Talk To Me/Say What You 
Will/Tonight/Maybe We Went 
Too Far. 

Before Thommy Pricejoined 
Billy Idol, he was in Scandal, 
and he recorded eight of this 
album's ten tunes before 
departing the group. Scandal's 
sound is much more hard rock 
here than on their first mini-LP, 
and Price's no-nonsense style 
suits the music perfectly. His 
approach is basically simple 
with a very fat backbeat, but he 
also knows how to throw in a 
few touches that keep things 
interesting. Newmark does a 
comparable job on his tune. 

TAYLOR — Historic Concerts. 
Soul Note SN 1100/1. M. 
Roach: dr, perc. C. Taylor: 
pno. Duets—Part I/Duets — 

Part II/Duets—Part III/ 

Duets—Part IV. 

This is not your normal Max 
Roach album. Certainly, 
Roach has always been an 
experimenter, and he has been 
on any number of musical jour¬ 
neys. But this is possibly the 
farthest he has gone into the 
"free" school, and he handles 
it the way he handles everything 
else he does—like he's done it 
all his life. This album does not 
feature a pianist being accom¬ 
panied by a drummer; these are 
truly duets, and due to Taylor's 
percussive approach to the 
piano, it often resembles two 
drummers playing together. 
Roach more than keeps up with 
Taylor—echoing him, chal¬ 
lenging him, and providing 
contrasts. If there is fault to be 
found, it's that Taylor's style 
dominates the album. Roach 
met Taylor on Taylor's ground 
and passed the test. It would 
have been interesting to hear 
what would have happened if 
the two musicians had then ven¬ 
tured into Roach's territory. At 
any rate, this album provides us 
with the opportunity to hear a 
different side of Max Roach—a 
side that proves, once again, 
that a drummer can do much 
more than merely accompany. 

IVAN CONH-J/ie Human 
Factor. Milestone M-9127. 
Ivan Conti: dr, perc, vcl, gtr, 
syn. Reginaldo: kybd. Artur- 
zinho: bs. Zizinho: perc. V. 
Biglione: gtr. J. Carlos: tn sx. 
L. Gandelman: al sx. Aoyama, 
Ziza: perc. Menca/You Have 
That/Pantanal II/Ivana/Junc- 
tion/OI/The Human Factor. 

The title of this album says a 
lot about the music. In this age 

of drum machines and techno¬ 
pop, it's nice to hear people 
playing instruments—espe¬ 
cially when they play with fire 
and intensity. Conti is the 
drummer with the Brazilian 
group Azymuth, and brings the 
same spirit to this album that 
has made Azymuth popular the 
world over. The music tends 
towards pop-jazz and funk, but 
when you get a Brazilian to play 
that music—one who knows 
samba—the result is a rhythmic 
drive that is more flowing than 
that of American funk stylists, 
who tend to be more militaristic 
in their approach. There's also 
a jungle influence that adds to 
the overall feeling that this 
record wasn't a product of 
technology, but a product of 
musicians who love to play. 


Transfer Station Blue. Fortuna 
Records FOR 023. M. Shrieve: 
dr, perc and elec perc. K. 
Schultze: syn. K. Shrieve: gtr. 
W. Lee: bs. H. Bullock: gtr. S. 
Figueroa: conga. Communi¬ 
que: Approach Spiral/Nucleo 
Tule/Transfer Station Blue/ 
View From The Window. 

Michael Shrieve has come up 
with a well-produced album 
that combines many of his 
former experiences. Some of 
the best elements of Latin, jazz 
and rock are fused together in a 
unique, untraditional way. 
Synthesizer, synthesized drum, 
and sequenced sounds are prev¬ 
alent throughout, but when 
these very electronic, rhythmi¬ 
cally precise sounds are blended 
with Latin instruments and 
drums (like on the title cut), the 
overall musical statement has 
an atypical drive and sense of 




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stereo headphones. 

plistic confines of straight com¬ 
mercial rock. RVH 

GRP-A-1007. C. Minnuci: gtr. 
George Jinda: perc. J.T. Lewis: 
dr. R. Kondor: pno. F. Saun¬ 
ders: bs. S. Robbins: kybd. 
Sambuca Nights/Much Too 
Soon/Forever Hold Your 
Peace/Foggy Streets Of Lon¬ 
don/Safari/The Slug/Wait- 

Here is an album that dem¬ 
onstrates a drummer and per¬ 
cussionist working together to 
enhance the total group sound 
and add the right effects to the 
compositions. Percussionist 
George Jinda and drummer 
J.T. Lewis are very aware of the 
compositions, and of each 
other. Jinda, originally from 
Budapest, Hungary, formed 
Special EFX two years ago in 
New York City along with gui¬ 
tarist Minnuci, with the goal of 
having a band that would use 
percussion in a more involved 
way. The tunes on this album 
are contemporary jazz-rock, 
and the entire group works 
together to lay down some well- 
rehearsed, tight grooves. The 
drum parts are played with 
restraint, yet add just enough to 
keep things interesting. This 
leaves room for percussion, 
which Jinda uses to augment 
the total musical picture. Jinda 
plays a variety of drums, 
shakers, rattles, whistles, and 
other instruments from Africa, 
South America, and the Carri- 
bean. Special EFX has good 
tunes, good drumming and 
good percussion; these ele¬ 
ments add up to a good album. 
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motion. Although this album is 
by a drummer, Shrieve has con¬ 
cerned himself more in other 
areas than just the drums. The 
result is a work by not only a 
fine drummer, but also a fine 
musician. WFM 


Orion The Hunter. Portrait 
BFR 39239. F. Cosmo: Id vcl, 
gtr. B. Goudreau: gtrs, vcls. B. 
Smith: bs, vcls. Michael DeRo- 
sier: dr. All Those Years/So 
You Ran/Dreamin'/Dark And 
Stormy/Stand Up/Fast TalkI 
Too Much In Love/Joanne/1 
Call It Love. 

This is driving rock by some 
seasoned professionals. It isn’t 
heavy metal—the tunes are far 
too melodically structured— 
but it is very powerful, which is 
to be expected when Michael 
DeRosier is behind the drums. 
For many years the beat of 
Heart, DeRosier is now anchor¬ 
ing this quartet that also fea¬ 
tures ex-Boston guitarist Barry 
Goudreau, and the stratos¬ 
pheric vocals of Fran Cosmo. 
Comparisons to Boston will be 
inescapable for this group, but 
I think they kept the best of 
the Boston sound—a certain 
unique layered-guitar sound— 
and avoided some of the pure 
instrumental bombast. "So 
You Ran" (on which DeRosier 
combines acoustic and elec¬ 
tronic drums to excellent effect) 
has already been released as a 
single and has done reasonably 
well; "I Call It Love" is a great 
up-tempo rocker that could 
make a solid follow-up. Check 
this album out for DeRosier’s 
tasty playing. There’s nobody 
around today who’s heavier, 
but many who are less imagina- 
:ive, even within the rather sim¬ 



Fry continued from page 29 

TF: No, it just happened. It must come 
from the people involved. When John, 
Herbie and Francis first got together, it 
was the musical thing that happened 
among them that made them want to con¬ 

SG: The choice of material and the way the 
arrangements work are cooperative 

TF: It depends. For instance, when Francis 
did "Opposites" and "Fifo," he came 
along with the whole thing written down 
and we just played it. But with a lot of Her¬ 
bie's things, he will just do a basic tune and 
the chords, and we all work it out between 
us—very much a group effort. Of course, 
when somebody has done a complete 
arrangement it can still be open to discus¬ 
sion. We can say, "Wouldn't it be better if 
we left out that repeat?" and that sort of 

SG: Do you ever reject material which you 
like, but you don't think that your record¬ 
buying public would respond to? 

TF:We have rejected things when we felt 
that they weren't working. But we always 
try things out. I should say that we always 
try to try things. It's not always that easy 
because of logistical problems. There are 
five fellows who are all over the place when 
they are not with Sky. Kevin has now gone 
back to live in Australia. Generally, it 
doesn't make a difference. He comes over 
here and we go over there once a year; the 
traveling isn't a problem. But as far as 

knocking on his door one night and saying, 
"Have a look at this," it's not that easy. 
Finding the time to try out all the ideas we 
would like to have a go at can be a prob¬ 

We often feel misrepresented in that 
people often think of us as the band that 
"rocks up" the classics—basically, I 
think, because of "Toccata." 

SG: That was the big hit which put you on 
the map. 

TF: Sure, but we didn't do anything to it 
which wasn't there musically. We only 
added a drumkit and a bass guitar, and the 
bass line was the same as the original. 
When Bach wrote that piece, he wrote it 
for a big cathedral organ, having previ¬ 
ously written things for the chamber 
organ. So, in fact, he wrote that to give an 
impact, and we gave it a similar sort of 

We don't do very many pieces from the 
classical repertoire. "Toccata" was one of 
the few. There have also been a few tradi¬ 
tional pieces as opposed to classical. 
"Dansa," on the first album, was a Basque 
folk song. We thought it was a very pretty 
tune and it really leant itself to that tam¬ 
bour de provencal drum sound, without 
the snares. Most of our material is origi¬ 
nal. There is a classical influence, but there 
is also a traditional influence and a rock 

SG: You said earlier that you hadn't 
played rock drums before Sky. Did you 
have any trouble adapting to playing on a 

kit which is miked up? 

TF: No, I didn't actually. But I remember 
the first concert we did. We hadn't had a 
lot of rehearsal time, I had never played 
that style of drums before in public, and it 
required quite a lot of stick. I remember 
wondering halfway through the show 
whether I was going to be able to last physi¬ 
cally. I had never worked so hard in my 
life. I'd done hundreds of concerts before, 
but I'd never had to work as hard as that. 
SG: You do play some tuned percussion 
though; it's not kit all the way through. 

TF: Oh yes, but not that much tuned stuff 
when you get down to it. Some of the num¬ 
bers are quite long. During a two-and-a- 
half-hour concert, I am doing at least an 
hour and three quarters of heavy playing. 
If you're not used to it, it can be quite a lot. 
I remember thinking that I was in danger 
of tightening up so that I couldn't play. 
SG: What did you do about it? 

TF: I heard my teacher's voice saying to 
me, "Relax." He always said, "Relax 
your wrists," because that's where it is; it 
shouldn't be anywhere else at all. 

SG: Presumably you had the PA to give 
you projection. Were you hitting the 
drums hard in order to get the sound you 

TF: I was very much in the hands of our 
sound guys: Angie, who is out front, and 
Gary, who works the monitors. I didn't 
really know at the time, but I have learned 
since that you do have to lay into the drums 
to get a certain feel. I never had to do that 

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On the other hand, I do tend to come off 
the drums, which comes from my classical 
training. You know that when you play 
hard there is a danger of going into the 
drums rather than coming off them. I come 
off them, which gives a more open sound. 
That's my own way, since I was taught to 
play that way for timps. When you're play¬ 
ing timpani, if you don't come off them, 
they sound dreadful. With drums you 
don't have to, but somehow I feel better 
coming off them. I was taught that the less 
contact you have with the drum the better. 
So basically, before you even hit the skin, 
you should be coming away from it. When 
working on timp technique, my teacher 
used to have me practice working up a roll 
on a cushion, but without making any 
indentation on that cushion! This might 
sound strange, but when you then play on 
a drum, you do come straight away from 

SG: It gives you total wrist control; you 
don't rely on a rebound from the head. 

TF: That's right. 

SG: You play quite a large kit with Sky. 
Was that a new experience for you, too? 
TF: Yes. I've always said, "If you can't 
play them, get a lot of them around you." 
[laughs] The thing is that you have a lot of 
nice, different sounds there, which helps 
you. You do see great drummers with a lot 
of drums, but you also see great drummers 
with just a few drums, and they often make 

it sound better. 

SG: Your music requires a variety of 
sounds though. 

TF: Yes, exactly. It was a new experience. 
Not so strange from a percussionist's point 
of view though. When you are surrounded 
by different instruments, you are quite 
used to knowing your distances from one 
thing to another. 

SG: Does your experience as a percussion¬ 
ist affect your approach to your drumkit 

TF: I think it probably does. I can't really 
say how; it isn't a conscious thing. People 
do tell me that I play more like a percus¬ 
sionist than a drummer, which is right 
because I do come from that background. 
SG: I was wondering whether you think 
melodically when you play tom-tom fills? 
TF: Yes, but I must say that I do rather 
subscribe to the view that whichever drum 
comes under the hand is the one. [laughs] 
But, yes, there is an instinctive thing which 
tells me that the sound of a particular drum 
is nearer the key of the piece. 

SG: Do you tune to specific notes? 

TF: No, I just get a sound I like and tune 
them from high to low—no specific notes 
or intervals. I usually find that as the heads 
get knocked about they need to be pulled 
up a bit, and I will usually just tighten a 
head until it sounds alright. The lads in the 
crew are often onto me when we are on 
tour saying, "Shouldn't we change that 
head?" I say, [shrugs] no. Actually, Andy, 

the guy who sets up the drums, often 
brings them up to whatever he thinks 
sounds right, and they sound great to me. 
SG: Your kit is Premier. Could you tell us 
what it is comprised of? 

TF: Eight hanging tom-toms, one floor 
tom, one bass, one snare, a hi-hat and four 
top cymbals. I switch the cymbals around a 
bit; they are mostly Zildjian, but there is a 
Paiste as well. They are all crash cymbals. I 
don't have much use for a ride, although I 
always have one up there that has a reason¬ 
able ride sound too. They used to be all 
20", but I have recently started using two 
20" plus an 18" and a 16". The sound of the 
smaller ones doesn't spread so much. With 
the larger ones, you could "whap" them 
and they would be with you for a few bars. 
SG: You do a drum solo in "Hotta." 
What's going through your mind when 
you are doing this? 

TF: Usually panic, [laughs] No. We have a 
drum machine going during that number. 
In fact, Herbie sums it up quite nicely in 
the sleeve note to Sky Five Live. He says 
that it starts with the drum box and the 
bass. The drum box is playing quite a com¬ 
plicated rhythm which "leaves Tristan free 
to play 1 and 3 on the bass drum" 
[laughs], which is what we do. I must be 
honest and say that I am not keen on drum 
solos; I find them pretty boring. There are 
certain people who do fantastic solos, but 
that's another thing. As far as I'm con¬ 
cerned, for an audience to sit and watch me 



do a normal sort of drum solo would be 
awful for them. But with this drum 
machine going, the whole idea is that I am 
playing against the rhythm box. There is 
the 4/4 and my whole upbringing has been 
through the avant-garde, playing five 
against seven and so on. It's interesting 
and exciting to me—not my playing it, but 
the possibility of playing it. So I try to 
bring the cross-rhythm thing across so that 
it isn't an ordinary drum solo. 

SG: You mentioned avant-garde just now. 
You didn't mean jazz? 

TF: No. Modern classical is how you 
would probably describe it—composers 
like Stockhausen, John Cage, people like 

SG: The sort of thing which can be found 
on your solo album on MFP, Twentieth 
Century Percussion Music? 

TF: Yes. That stuff is great fun to play, 
from the percussionist's point of view. 
John Boyden, the producer, asked me if I 
would like to do an album of this music, 
and of course, I was delighted. We did it 
very quickly, actually, in about three ses¬ 
sions. Surprisingly enough, it has sold 
quite well in America. I think that a lot of 
composers have bought it to listen to the 
various sounds. 

SG: MFP approached you with the idea. 
Did they suggest the repertoire, or did they 
leave that to you? 

TF: They suggested the Stockhausen piece, 
and then said, "Any other ideas?" I've 

been lucky because I often receive music 
from publishers, particularly in the avant- 
garde field, so I had quite a few pieces of 

SG: There is no double tracking on that 
album. That demonstrates an amazing 
technique and independence. 

TF: Kit drummers use independence; it's 
quite normal really. 

SG: They are not playing notes and even 
melody lines simultaneously on different 
instruments though. 

TF: Well . . . [laughs and shrugs] 

SG: Do you often perform these kinds of 

TF: Yes, but things don't always go per¬ 
fectly. One of my favorite stories is, I was 
booked to go to Avignon in the south of 
France to do a concert of avant-garde 
music. I was playing the whole run of per¬ 
cussion instruments and it was agreed that 
all the instruments would be supplied, 
which was great; all I had to do was turn up 
with a bag of sticks. The night before the 
concert, one of the organizers phoned me 
to say that they were a bit short on material 
and asked if there was something I could 
do on my own. Well, as luck would have it, 
I had recently got hold of a piece by a Hun¬ 
garian composer. A friend of mine who 
speaks Hungarian told me that the com¬ 
poser's instructions meant that it was to be 
played on vibes, accompanied by a 
marimba on tape. I was living at home with 
my parents at the time, so I took the 

marimba into the house and played a track 
onto the old Grundig, which I would then 
play along with the following day on the 
vibraphone. Great. So the next morning, 
off I went with my tape to catch the plane. I 
arrived in Avignon, and, as always, we 
were very pushed for rehearsal time, so I 
didn't get a chance to run through this 
piece. We just went straight into it at the 
show. Here we were in this lovely medieval 
courtyard where the concert was taking 
place. We did some other pieces and it was 
time for me to do my bit. I came forward, 
made a quick bow, signaled to the sound 
man who switched on the tape, and there 
followed seven or eight minutes of my 
granny and my mother talking about knit¬ 
ting! What can you do? You can't stop, so 
I just kept playing. Well, at the end of the 
concert people came 'round to see me, and 
they were knocked out by the composer's 
idea of having mumbling going on in the 
background. I couldn’t believe it. Fantas¬ 

SG: Do you have any individual projects at 
the moment? 

TF Well, percussion is a funny thing. You 
need a band to play with. You can't do solo 
stuff all the time. I love being called for ses¬ 
sions: "Can you do a session at ten o'clock 
tomorrow morning?" It knocks me out to 
do that. You turn up and you don't know 
who you are going to see or what you've 
got to play. I find that very exciting. 

SG: Do you do sessions on kit, or is it 
mostly percussion? 

TF: When the band started, a few people 
called me up to play drums, and I said, "If 
you don't mind, I do that with Sky. I'd 
love to play percussion, but I don't play 
drums on sessions." There are so many 
good drummers around anyway, and the 
Sky thing is happening, but that's some¬ 
thing different. Occasionally, they might 
want me to do a doubling thing in which I 
might play, say, timps but they need me to 
do a bit of drums as well. That's fine; I do 
that. But to go along and be a big band 
drummer or a rock drummer on a session, 
no. It doesn't seem right. Maybe when I 
grow up. [laughs] I'll have to see. 

SG: What about the future for Sky, and 
the future for Tristan Fry? 

TF: Well, all I can say is, "Who knows?" 
I'd like Sky to continue for another hun¬ 
dred years. I think that we have something 
unique. I don't mean that in a conceited 
sense; I mean that we have five fellows who 
enjoy playing music together, enjoy being 
on a stage together and enjoy being in 
front of an audience. That is an important 
part of a musician's makeup. When you 
start to play an instrument, basically, there 
is a strong element of wanting to show off 
involved. I love playing, and for years, I 
found that being involved in session 
work—which I also love—I missed seeing 
an audience. I think that the fact that 
we've got that with the group, that we 
enjoy ourselves, and we enjoy our concerts 
is wonderful. We are very lucky. j ^j 


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RARY DRUMMER will accept serious drum 
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teach these concepts extensively. My 
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CHICAGO: Drumset Master Classes A 
contemporary audio and video forum tor 
Modern Drummers Sundays al Band Aid 
Studios. Call (312) 385-2270 for informa¬ 

Baltimore, MD area: Drum Instruction with 
Grant Menefee, B M Berklee College of 
Music. Ail Styles and levels (301)247-0411. 

BROOKLYN, N.Y.-Sheepshead Bay Area. 
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Famous drummer with 
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Pre-CBS Rogers (inside label says Cleve¬ 
land): Brass or wood DynaSonic, 14x14 
floor tom, 14 x 18 bass. Also Fibes snare. Al 
Kloper, Box 3124, Falls Church, VA 22043 

REPRINTS of most 
MD Feature Articles 
and columns ARE 
available! Call the 


office for a 
price quote 




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Q. I have aproblem with wooden bass drum beaters. Because they 
damaged my drumheads, I purchased a plastic stick-on impact 
pad. The pad wore through in a very short time. It would be easier 
to use a felt beater, but wood gets a much better sound. Is there 
anything on the market that better protects the bass drum heads? 


La Costa, CA 

A. There are any number ofprotective devices available commer¬ 
cially, most of which advertise in MD. These generally fall into 
various categories, such as heavy gauge plastic circles that are self- 
adhesive, hard fiber disks inside an adhesive pad, leather pads, and 
the more traditional moleskin pad. The trick is to find one that 
gives you both the protection you need and the sound you desire. 
Leather pads give the most protection, but also absorb the most 
impact, giving more dull "thud" and less "attack" to the bass 
drum sound. The hard fiber disks emphasize the attack, and tend 
to produce a bass drum sound containing more of the high fre¬ 
quencies. A wooden beater, or any vety hard beater such as Plexi¬ 
glas or composite, will tend to crack both the fiber disks and the 
thick plastic circles fairly cjuickly. This is due to a combination of 
their hardness and the heat built up from friction. This heat will 
soften the plastic at the impact point, and contribute to the break¬ 
down of the protective device. 

Your best method of protecting the head when using a hard 
beater is to use a protective device that can be replaced easily and 
economically. In other words, use something thatyou can allow to 
wear out in place of the head itself. One very economical method is 
to use small squares of drumhead material, taken from a previ¬ 
ously broken head. Simply tape one or two thicknesses of these 
squares onto the bass drum head at the beater impact point, using a 
small amount of duct tape. Inspect the "pad" each time you play, 
and as the beater wears through the plastic square, simply replace 
the square with a new one. The added advantage to this is thatyou 
still retain the sound of the wood beater directly on the bass drum 
head, without modifying it with a thick barrier of some other mate¬ 

Q. I'm 16 and have been playing drums for about a year and a half. 
I don't know a whole lot about what I’m doing, even though I've 
had people say that I’m very interesting. I love to learn and get 
ideas. The more I read Modern Drummer, the more I wish to make 
drumming my future. My problem is this: I get nervous when play¬ 
ing for people. Is this just a phase that young drummers go 



A. It's a phase that every performer goes through, whether young 
or old, andyou may never outgrow it. "Stagefright" is a natural 
anxiety that resultsfrom wanting to succeed, and wanting to gain 
the acceptance and admiration ofyour audience. It diminishes as 
your own confidence increases, and that takes time, practice, and a 
belief in your own abilities. But even veteran performers still have 
"butterflies" about appearing before an audience; if they didn't, 
their performances would be mechanical and blase. The skill 
involved is the ability to overcome that nervousness and perform at 
your best. 

Q. I would greatly appreciate it if you would send me the address, 
price, and all other details on ordering a Zalmer Twin bass drum 


Bossier City, LA 

A. You may order the Zalmer Twin pedal from Universal Percus¬ 
sion, 427 Fifth St, Struthers, OH 44471, (216) 755-6423. You 
should contact them directly for price information and ordering 

Have a problem? A question? Ask MD. Address all 
questions to: Modern Drummer, c/o It's Question¬ 
able, PO Box 469,870 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove. 

NJ 07009. Questions cannot be answered person- 


Q. I have recently purchased an Apollo drumkit. It seems to be old, 
despite its looks and sound. I was wondering whatever happened 
to the Apollo company? Does it still exist? Try to give me all the 
information you can on it. 


Kingsport, TX 

Q. Help! Does MD or anyone know if Majestic drums are still 
made? Who makes them, and where can I contact the company? 

D. F. 

Ft. Stewart, GA 

Q. I have a Royce drumset that I want to add to. I've looked every¬ 
where, but I can't find anyone who has Royce drums. Are they still 

E. H. 

Fairfield, IA 

A. Apollo, Majestic, and Royce were among many names given to 
low-cost imported drurnsets in the '60sand '70s. Many of these sets 
were manufactured by the same company, generally in Taiwan, 
and shipped directly to U.S. distributors, who then placed a brand 
name on the drums and marketed them to U.S. retail stores. None 
of those brands are manufactured today under those names. Of the 
particular brands mentioned above, the one on which we could get 
the most historical information was Apollo, and that information 
comes to us through the courtesy of Ken Mezines: "St. Louis 
Music was a major supplier of Apollo drums, and according to 
personnel at the warehouse, the line could go back over20years, to 
approximately 1960. Though St. Louis Music believes that they 
gave the line the Apollo name, they were not sure that other distri¬ 
bution houses were not using this same logo—sort of a universal 
title. The line was dropped by St. Louis Music in 1983, and 
replaced with a new andfar superior line called Thor. The com¬ 
pany that made Apollo is not the manufacturer for the new Thor 
outfits, and the entire image of Apollo (beginner sets) has been 
dropped to make way for the new full-line, beginner-to-pro Thor 
sets. Apollo drums crop up all the time here at my shop, and unfor¬ 
tunately do not bring a high price. I hope thatyou got a good deal 
on yours. 

"The company that actually manufactured Apollo was notori¬ 
ous for reproducing other companies' casings. They made one that 
looked like Slingerland and one that looked like Ludwig. They 
made whatever was popular, so the drurnsets were like clones of 
drurnsets manufactured by the big U.S. companies. Apollo was 
probably the biggest selling of the import lines, which included 
names like Royce, Crown, Star, Kent, Majestic, Toreador and 
many others. Although they are all gone, you can correlate them 
with lines today like Thor, Maxwin, CB-700, and ROC. Luckily, 
today's imports are far superior to what they had back in the 
'60s. " 

Q. I have recently acquired two K.Zildjian cymbals, 12" and 13". 
They have "Made In Turkey" stamped on them, and are stamped 
"Constantinople" rather than "Istanbul." I’d like to know about 
how old they are, how much it would cost me to buy more like 
them, and how to clean them without losing the stamp, which is 
already partially rubbedoff. 


San Antonio, TX 

A. According to Lennie DiMuzio of Zildjian: "The K. Zildjian 
cymbals that say 'Made In Turkey'and also say 'Istanbul'are not 
as old as the ones that are stamped 'Constantinople.' The cymbals 
thatyou have are of the oldest type—probably about 75 years old. 
It would be nearly impossible to buy cymbals like that today, 
because they are collector's items. I recommend that you do not 
clean them, but keep them in a cymbal bag in order to keep them in 
the best possible condition." <ji»j 



300 Reasons To Buy 


J From 


Select Your Set-up From Over 
300 ZILDJIAN Cymbals On Display 


“Supplying Musicians Since 1951“ 

325 Washington Ave♦ Belleville, N J. 07109 

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Since her MD interview (December '82) 
Sheila Eseovedo —alias Sheila E.—has 
experienced quite a career upswing. In 
1983, from March through August, she 
toured with Marvin Gaye, and from 
August '83 to February '84, with Lionel 
Richie. Since then, she has been working 
on her solo career, releasing her first 
album, The Glamorous Life. 

According to Sheila, it all happened 

At 61, Spirit's Ed Cassidy must be the 
oldest working rock 'n' roll drummer in 
the world. "I'm thrilled by it," he says. 
"It's great. Some people have expressed 
disbelief, but once you talk with them and 
once you get up there and do your thing, 
that's all they care about. They only want 
you to go up there and look like you 
belong. They want you to be able to be as 
crazy and silly, or serious and emotional as 
they feel. You have to keep the child alive 
within you to do that. When you kill the 
child in yourself, you automatically start 
to dig that hole. You have to have the abil¬ 
ity to go out and enjoy a lot of things. I'm 
into all sorts of things—flowers and horti¬ 
culture; psychic phenomenon; locksmith- 
ing; I was an aircraft jet mechanic years 
ago—so I'm in the 'master of none' situa¬ 
tion, but as you go on in life, you realize it 
doesn't really matter. It only matters that 
you feel good about yourself. The age 
thing only matters to somebody else. Phys¬ 
ically, I think you can handle it as long as 
you keep yourself physically together and 
mentally alert. Giving your body exercise 
is important, and I stopped smoking in 
'69. I don't drink heavily either. I've been 
in the habit of walking or jogging any¬ 
where from three to six miles a day. If you 
do that and eat well, you can do it. Also, 
one of the major things I learned over the 
years is not to be afraid to take a risk." 

A few months ago, Spirit released Spirit 

fast. "The day after I finished the Lionel 
Richie tour, Prince—a long-time friend— 
called me to play on his tune, 'Erotic City.' 
Through Prince I also did the Appalonia 
Six album." Prince, realizing Sheila's 
many talents, suggested that she go solo 
and do an album. He introduced her to his 
management, and about a week later, she 
was in the studio working on her own 

Although Sheila is an outstanding per¬ 
cussionist, until recently she had not done 
a lot of singing. While on the Richie tour, 
however, she began singing a good deal of 
backup. In discussions with Prince on her 
career, he told her that even a great percus¬ 
sionist can't really stand in the popular 
limelight. That prompted Sheila to get seri¬ 
ous about singing and writing her own 

While on tour with Marvin Gaye, Sheila 
began composing regularly, taking advan¬ 
tage of all the travel time on the bus. Says 
Sheila, "On those long, 24-hour hauls, I 
would write on the bus using a four-track 
recorder, a synthesizer, and a drum 
machine. I've been working on the mate¬ 
rial on this album for some time." 

Besides writing the songs, she also per- 

Of '84 (Polygram) and toured behind the 
album as well. But this should come as no 
surprise. Through the years, since the 
group officially disbanded in 1970, Ed has 
been working in Spirit-related projects 
with various group members. This reunion 
began to surface a couple of years ago with 
all original members, but being that it is 
1984, Ed said that some changes had to be 

"I've even changed my drumkit. Basi¬ 
cally, I have the same setup, but in the 
past, you really couldn't see my face. 
We've changed the set around, raised the 
cymbals up high more like rock 'n' roll, 
and made it so I am more visible. I also had 
to work on not losing what was there origi¬ 
nally in the old material, while adding a 
different section. My playing is good, and I 
knock my brains out as usual." 

There are some updated versions of old 
Spirit songs on this album, but there are 
also plans to record an LP of all new mate¬ 
rial in the not too distant future. "It's sort 
of a two-way street, because there are peo¬ 
ple who grew up with the band who may 
say, 'I want to hear the originals the way 
they were done.' At the same time, they are 
not usually the ones who go to concerts. 
The concert audience is probably 14 to 20, 
and when we were at our peak, they didn't 
know music from beans. So to them, old or 
new, the songs are going to be new." — 
Robyn Flans 

formed on a majority of the instruments. 
Her plan was to complete the basic tracks 
herself, so the session players would have a 
framework to listen to and work from. Lit¬ 
tle by little, she kept adding more instru¬ 
ments herself: bass, keyboards, guitar and 
then finally vocals. Before she knew it, the 
tunes were completed, the album being fin¬ 
ished in a mere five days. Because she did 
play almost everything on the album, 
Sheila feels she had more control over the 
quality of the finished product. "I'm 
somewhat of a perfectionist. I wouldn't 
have done it unless the album could meet 
my standards." 

Sheila is currently on a six-month world 
tour, as the opening act for Prince. After 
this tour, she will begin work on her next 
album, videos, another world tour and 
possibly some work in motion pictures. 
With all of these endeavors, she still finds 
time to work on her instrument. Says 
Sheila, "Percussion is still my main love. I 
do get a chance to play during my show. 
Also, I've been talking to management 
about doing a jazz-Latin-rock fusion 
album—no vocals, no dance songs, just 
playing. I don't want people to forget I'm 
a player." —William F. Miller 

Percussionist Joe Lala almost gave it all 
up because work was slow and "drum 
machines had taken over." He had 
planned to move to Florida in June, but 
"things did an incredible turnaround. I got 
a record deal with USA Records. My song 
was called 'All Night Lover,' and it hap¬ 
pened kind of by accident. My old band, 
Blues Image, was thinking about a 
reunion, and we were in negotiations with 
USA Records to do a record. I played this 
tape for the president of the company, and 
he asked if I wanted my own record deal. I 
was co-writer of the song and had Lenny 
Castro come in as well." 

In addition to that, session work picked 
up and one of the fun projects he did was 
Barry Gibb's solo album. "I came in and 
did a couple of songs. He said, 'Do you 
mind if we bring in another percussionist?' 
'Along with me or instead of me?' 'Along 
with you.' It was Lenny Castro. I freaked 
out because Lenny and I are very, very 
good friends. We work together in a big 
band, Masterblast, but we'd never had the 
chance to play together in a disciplined stu¬ 
dio situation. We were in the studio, play¬ 
ing live, which is pretty odd for percussion¬ 
ists. We made a couple of passes at it, and 
Barry came out and said, 'Okay, gentle¬ 
men, you've played it the way you think it 
should be played. Now would you like to 
play it the way you would like to play it?' 



Gerry Brown 
(Lionel Richie) plays 
5ABIAN Cymbals 
exclusively. , 

^ - j nd lor a lull ^ 
cole® poster of 
Gt nry Brown 

(induce 32.00 tor powage 
) handfcngi 


M I 

1 1 | 


We said, 'Are you sure about that, Barry?' 
And he said, "That's what I got the two of 
you in here for.' It really is a change for 
him to do something like that, and it was a 
lot of fun." 

As usual, Joe has been working with 
Crosby, Stills & Nash, which he enjoys. 1 
love the whole era," he explains. "I was a 
part of the music, and those good times are 
gone. Many of those songs mean a lot to 
me. I fell in love to a lot of those songs and 
so did many other people. They really do 
have a following. Their songs are beauti¬ 
ful, and their harmonies are wonderful. 
When we play, those stadiums are alive." 
Late last month, the tour with CS&N 
ended, and Joe is looking forward to 
recording their next album shortly. — 
Robyn Flans 

Stewart Copeland is working on addi¬ 
tional tracks for an upcoming live Police 
album. Drummers George Lawrence (for¬ 
merly of Pages and Jimmy Messina's 
Oasis) and Vince Barranco (Peter Tork 
and the New Monks) have recently been on 
tour in Hungary, East Germany and West 
Germany with George Sandifer and the 
Mississippi Band. Nick Mangini is cur¬ 
rently a member of the Furies, who are 
now recording an album produced by Felix 
Cavaliere. Nick also teaches at the West¬ 
chester Conservatory of Music and does 
various commercials. We have had many 
erroneous reports about Jeff Porcaro and 
the activities of Toto since their album was 
postponed for many months and only 
released two months ago. Delays were due 
to the extensive search for a new singer, 
which resulted in the joining of Dennis 
Frederiksen, formerly of LeRoux. Also, 
what detained the group was their compos¬ 
ing and scoring the music for Dune. 
Finally, next month, Jeff will be on tour 
with Toto with possible kickoff dates in 
Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Look 
for a summer tour of the States. Paul Wer- 
tico keeping very busy these days. He is on 
Pat Metheny's Full Circle album, which 
was released a couple of months ago. Also, 
the band he has played with for 11 years, 
Earwax Control, released their debut 
album, which is available through: Depot 
Records, P.O. Box 632, Fox River, Illinois 
60021. He just got off the road with 
Metheny this month and is busy doing jin¬ 
gles. Also, look for the soundtrack for The 
Falcon And The Snowman, which Paul 
did with Metheny in London in the fall. 
Ian Paice and Deep Purple in Australia, 
with plans to come to the U.S. shortly. 
Danny Frankel currently with the Flying 
Karamozov Brothers. Tom Compton cur¬ 
rently touring with Johnny Winter; also 
Tom's wife, Jody, recently gave birth to 
their first child, Trey. 

Perhaps one of the main reasons that 
Simmons drums have become so popular 
with drummers is that they can be played in 
much the same manner as acoustic drums. 
That was exactly what drummer Richard 
James Burgess, who helped Dave Sim¬ 
mons develop the SDS5, had in mind. Bur¬ 
gess had been thinking about electronic 
drums for quite a while before he hooked 
up with Simmons. "The idea came to me 
from the frustration of not being able to 
get a great sound live," he recalls. "I was 
playing in the band Landscape, and all of 
the instruments except for the drums went 
directly into the PA mixer. I started out 
working on an idea for an electric drum, 
but then I thought it would be better to go 
to a synthesized drum. At the time, there 
were a variety of so-called electronic 
drums, but they all went 'booooo, 
booooo' and didn't sound like real drums 

"I approached a couple of companies 
about my ideas, but no one was interested 
until I met up with Dave Simmons, who 
was making his SDS3. Working together, 
we came up with sounds that were more 
like real drums than anything that was 
available. Then we had to solve the trigger¬ 
ing problem. I was adamant that whatever 
we came up with had to be responsive in a 
very similar way to a real drum, so that 
drummers could use the same technique 
they already had. By the end of 79, we had 

Terry Martell knows how to make the 
best of an opportunity. While he was with 
Aldo Nova (he has since been replaced by 
Billy Carmassi), he took great advantage 
of the opportunity. "Midtour, Aldo con¬ 
nected up with Billy. This went on behind 
my back, which is the same thing that hap¬ 
pened with the last drummer and me. So I 
started collaborating with some people 
myself, because I could see where it was 
heading. I made connections throughout 
the tour. While other members were busy 
partying, I was walking around getting to 
know management people and other 
bands—making connections. To be quite 
honest, I don't feel good about the way 
things came down, but at the same time, I 
do because that's got to be the way it was 
meant to be. This was my big break. I 
could have really blown it, partied on the 
tour and not gotten to know people. I can't 
really say anything bad about Aldo 
because he gave me that big break, and I 
was happy to do anything with Aldo 
because he is the most talented musician I 
have ever set eyes on." 

a working prototype." 

Burgess was the first to use the SDS5 on 
a record, but he didn't actually play it. He 
was already anticipating the future. "I had 
broken my finger a couple of years previ¬ 
ously, and during the time I couldn't play 
drums I became interested in computers. 
While we were developing the SDS5, 1 real¬ 
ized that I could trigger it with a computer. 
This was pre-LinnDrum or anything like 
that. So I used a Roland Microcomposer to 
trigger the SDS5 on Landscape's record 
called "European Man." I think the first 
record to use the SDS5 played by hand was 
one I produced for Spandau Ballet called 
"Chant #1," with Spandau's drummer 
playing the SDS5." 

Considering Richard's background, it is 
surprising to see acoustic drums on the 
cover of his recent mini-LP, and to learn 
that most of the record features acoustic 
drums rather than electronics. "The rea¬ 
son for that," he states, "is that by the 
time I was ready to do this album, practi¬ 
cally everything I was hearing on the radio 
was using the SDS5. It seemed to me that a 
lot of people were using electronic drums 
as a passport to sounding hip, but I felt 
that my music didn't need that. Also, I still 
like acoustic drums very much. My inten¬ 
tion in helping develop the SDS5 was never 
to replace acoustic drums, but to give 
drummers an alternative." 

Burgess hopes to tour early in '85, 
although he will probably take another 
drummer along. "It's difficult to play 
drums and sing through an entire set, but I 
will be playing drums at some point in the 
show. And I'll probably use electronic 
drums because they do sound better live. 
That was my reason for becoming involved 
with them to begin with." — Rick Mat¬ 

Currently, Terry is working with Leggs 
Diamond and Pete Willis (formerly of Def 
Leppard) in a group called Knightmare. 
And speaking of making the best of a nega¬ 
tive situation, Terry has been writing, 
spurred by a tragedy in his life. "I had 
never written poetry or anything, but I 
opened up to writing lyrics by losing my 
fiancee of ten years to a car accident about 
two years ago. That night I was on tour. I 
was going to bring her out to a gig and 
found out that she was dead on arrival at 
the hospital. The same night I wrote 'Vic¬ 
tim Of A Broken Heart' word by word, 
just the way it is on the Subject album. 

"My main goal is to combine my vocals 
with my drumming like Phil Collins. The 
biggest difficulty of singing and playing 
drums is keeping your meter while you're 
doing your vocals and also throwing in 
some fills, and then going back to the 
meter. You're not just using your legs and 
hands; you're using your mind and your 
voice. It's an extremely difficult process to 
learn, but that's the direction I'm heading 
in." —Robyn Flans lj , | 



SDS/=3 Concert tom 

Proof of equation 

Introducing the SDS 1, the new battery powered 
digital drum from Simmons. Its sounds are digitally 
recorded and easily interchangeable, either from 
the library of sounds available at your Simmons 
dealer or, more excitingly, from your own 
personally sampled collection, care of the 
revolutionary sampling and EPROM blowing 
device, the SDS EPB. 

The SDS I is a full sized, hexagonal Simmons 
pad, complete with new rubber playing surface, 
and facilitates perfect dynamic control over volume, 
pitch bend (up or down), attack and brightness. 
Connections are provided for battery eliminator 
and external trigger, accepting signals from drum 

machines, miked acoustic drums, drum tracks off 
tape, sequencers etc. 

A clever little instrument — but eight concert 

The SDS 1 features a unique "run generator" 
which, when implemented, instructs the instrument 
to output the selected sound at a lower pitch for each 
consecutive strike of the drum. The period of time 
over which this effect is active can be controlled. 
Therefore, if the SDS 1 is struck eight times with the 
run time set at four seconds and a concert tom 
sound sample installed, the SDS 1 = 8 concert 
toms. Well done Simmons, stay at the top of the 

Group Centre Inc* 23917 Craftsman Road, Calabasas, Ca. 91302 Telephone 818-884-2653 


The American Federation of 
Musicians is seeking a labor law 
change that would afford work- 
related rights and benefits to 
tens of thousands of musicians 
currently excluded from pro¬ 
tection provided to the major¬ 
ity of the nation's other work¬ 
ers. The relief is being sought in 
the form of Taft-Hartley 
amendments, some of which 
are similar to those passed in 
1959 improving the status of 
construction and garment 
industry workers. 

In an effort to aid musicians 
working in nightclubs, hotels, 
lounges and other such estab¬ 
lishments, AFM President Vic¬ 
tor W. Fuentealba testified in 
Washington, D.C. on Septem¬ 
ber 13, at Taft-Flartley over¬ 
sight hearings of the Senate 
Subcommittee on Labor. He 
appeared on September 18 
before the House Subcommit¬ 
tee on Labor-Management 
Relations. Testifying with him 


Kelly Keagy, drummer with 
Night Ranger, has recently 
signed as a Pearl endorser. 
He'll be playing Pearl's new 
MX Series (all-maple shells) 
and his setup will include a 16 
x 24 bass drum, 11 x 13 and 
12 x 14 rack toms, a 16 x 16 
floor tom, and a 6 1/2 x 14 
snare. He will also be using 
Pearl's Drum Rack (DR-I), 
and a variety of Pearl stands, 
pedals and hardware. Keagy 
states that, with Pearl's Drum 
Rack, setups and teardowns are 
quick and easy. 

Pearl is also proud to 
announce that it was selected as 
the official drumset supplier for 
the 1984 Sacramento Jazz Jubi¬ 
lee held recently. This annual 
event attracted 42 internation¬ 
ally known Dixieland bands. 
Forty-two performing stages 
were in operation for the three- 
day event, each of which was 
equipped with Pearl drumsets 
for use by the performers. 
Thousands of enthusiastic lis¬ 
teners, combined with re¬ 
nowned Dixieland bands, made 
the Jazz Jubilee a success. 

was Ned H. Guthrie, AFM 
National Legislative Director. 

In his testimony before both 
groups, Fuentealba pointed out 
that, with the exception of 
major symphony orchestra 
members, some musicians who 
play in theaters, and some who 
work in other music industry 
segments where employer- 
employee relationships are rec¬ 
ognized and adhered to, 
today's musicians find them¬ 
selves in a "no-man's land" 
where labor laws are con¬ 
cerned. He also explained that 
while a nightclub proprietor 
may determine what compensa¬ 
tion musicians will receive, the 
hours they will work, what they 
will play, what they will wear, 
and sometimes even with whom 
they will associate when they 
leave the bandstand, that same 
proprietor is allowed by law to 
assume no responsibility in 
terms of an employer-employee 


Drummers Collective in New 
York City is pleased to 
announce the addition of 
Michael Shrieve to its faculty. 
Michael first gained national 
recognition with Santana, play¬ 
ing on the band's first eight 
albums. He has also performed 
and recorded with Steve Win- 
wood, A1 DiMeola, Novo 
Combo, The Rolling Stones, 
and is currently working on 
Mick Jagger's solo album. At 
Drummers Collective, Michael 
is teaching an electronic percus¬ 
sion class, as well as private les¬ 
sons. For more information 
call (212) 741-0091. Drummers 
Collective, 541 Avenue of the 
Americas, New York, NY 
10011 . 

Fuentealba says that only 
positive action by the nation's 
lawmakers can improve a situa¬ 
tion that denies musicians 
unemployment compensation 
coverage and worker's com¬ 
pensation protection, allows 
employers to avoid making 
pension contributions and even 
permits them to skirt the Social 
Security laws and not make 
F.l.C.A. deductions by classi¬ 
fying musicians as "self- 

A practicing attorney and 
former working musician, 
Fuentealba has frequently 
stated his belief that "it is 
inconceivable and unconscio¬ 
nable that in the world's most 
advanced society, those who 
give so much pleasure to so 
many are penalized for being 
short-term employees and 
forced to endure little more 
legal status than the wandering 
minstrels of the Middle Ages." 


The Avedis Zildjian Company 
recently announced the first of 
a series of White Papers 
designed to help both young 
and experienced drummers 
select the proper cymbals for 
different playing styles and situ¬ 
ations. Introduced in a product 
advertisement for Zildjian 
crash cymbals, the Zildjian 
Crash Cymbal White Paper has 
stimulated an overwhelming 
response from drummers 
nationwide. The advertisement 
focused on the Zildjian philos¬ 
ophy that a cymbal is not just a 
sound effect, but a musical 
instrument which should be 
played. The White Paper on 
crash cymbals will explain the 
differences among the various 
Zildjian lines and the various 
types and weights of crash cym¬ 
bals. An assessment of each of 
the different types of crashes, 
along with sonic descriptions, 
tips on choosing cymbals and 
recommended applications will 
also be included. A cymbal 
availability chart including 
range of sizes will help drum¬ 
mers at all skill levels choose 
from among the 38 different 
Zildjian crash and splash cym¬ 


The Avedis Zildjian Company 
recently announced the forma¬ 
tion of the Zildjian Sound Lab 
as a new division within the 
Zildjian organization with key 
responsibility for new product 
research and development. 
Along with cymbal craftsmen 
and technicians from the Zild¬ 
jian plant, Zildjian's Chair¬ 
man, Armand Zildjian, and 
Product Manager, Len DiMu- 
zio, are personally active in the 
Sound Lab, as are many of the 
top artists in Zildjian's family 
of endorsers. 

The primary emphasis of the 
Sound Lab will be on the con¬ 
tinuing development of new 
cymbals and new sounds to 
help drummers and percussion¬ 
ists meet the demands placed on 
them by today's fast-paced and 
ever-changing music scene, 
whether it be complementing 
and blending with the sounds of 
electronic instruments, or lead¬ 
ing the way into the new poly¬ 
rhythms of "world music." 
The latest products to emerge 
from the Sound Lab have been 
Zildjian's new Impulse cym¬ 
bals, which introduced the rev¬ 
olutionary new Power Hi-Hats 
concept and which were devel¬ 
oped with input from Tommy 
Aldridge of the Ozzy Osbourne 
band. Peter Erskine (Weather 
Report, Steps Ahead), Mel 
Lewis and Elvin Jones were all 
consultants on the new K. Zild¬ 
jian line, which continues to be 
in great demand by both jazz 
drummers seeking the sound of 
the original K.'s from Istanbul, 
and by rock, funk and fusion 
drummers looking for a wider 
range of tonal colors in their 
setup. The K. Zildjian line has 
only recently been expanded 
with the addition of new K. 
heavy rides, flat rides, hi-hats, 
splash and odd-sized Chinas as 
crash cymbals. 


In our Jonathan Mojfet story, 
the photos on page 26, 28 (top) 
and 29 were credited incor¬ 
rectly. The photos were taken 
by Harrison Funk, the Jack- 
sons' official Victory Tour 




Sonorlite equals Sonor-de-lite 
in sound and design. 

The new color designs for Sonorlite have 
arrived - cream (CL) and onyx (OL). newly 
developed with superior double-component- 
lacquer - highly durable and resistant to light 
and fading. 

Sonorlite snare drums are equipped with 
the Sonor parallel snare action, or with the 
likewise newly developed "throw-off II" snare 
action. In the "throw-off II" mechanism, the 
snares surpass the edge of the head, allowing the 
whole length of the strand to rest even better on 
the snare head. A guarantee for a precise 
response of the snare drum. 

Sonorlite snare drums equipped with the 
parallel snare action (LD 557) have die-cast rims 

for an additional full, heavy and exact sound. 

All of Sonorlite's new features are ready for 
testing at your local music dealer. Send for the 
complete new 64 page color catalog "The 
Drummer’s Drum". Include S 3.00 for postage 
and handling. 

Exclusive distributor for the U.S. and 
Canada: Charles Alden Music Co. Inc. 

P.O. Box 231. Walpole. M A 02081 
Tel. (617)668-5601) 

Outside the U.S. and Canada please 
contact: Sonor Percussion P.O. Box 2020 
D-5920 Bad Berleburg-Aue • West Germany 
In Great Britain: Sonor UK Ltd. 
Widcombe Parade • Widcombe Bath BA 2 4 LD 


The Drummer's Drum 


Beato Musical Products re¬ 
cently introduced the latest 
addition to their line of drum 
accessories. Beato Turkish 
Sounds cymbals are completely 
handmade in Europe. The 
Solid Ride models, in particu¬ 
lar, are hand-hammered and 
hand-turned, designed to meet 
the increasing demand for a 
"deep, dark" sound. The cym¬ 
bals are crafted with a casting 
process that obtains the best 
results in sound and brilliance 

from the alloy used. From this 
process comes a more powerful 
and durable response and feel. 
The cymbals are available in a 
range of types and sizes that 
will satisfy the needs of most 
drummers: splash, crash, ride, 
ping ride. Solid Ride (hand- 
hammered), and matched hi- 
hats. For information, contact 
Beato Musical Products, P.O. 
Box 725, Wilmington, CA 
90748, or call (213) 775-1513. 


Om Percussion has developed a 
line of wooden percussion 
instruments designed to be 
played in conjunction with 
drumset. Om Tuned Temple 
Blocks are guaranteed to with¬ 
stand savage attack from the 
heaviest drumsticks, and allow 
drummers to play tuned percus¬ 
sion without picking up mal¬ 
lets. They are very loud, and 
tuned to 20 pure notes from C 
above Middle C to high G. Sets 

of 5, 13, or 20 are available, as 
well as individual blocks. 

Om Tuned Claves are made 
of purple ironwood, and are 
very loud and pure in tone. 
Eight notes are available, from 
G to D. Om Woodblocks are 
also made of purple ironwood, 
and are available in three sizes. 
According to president John 
Stannard, "This represents our 
most painstaking effort to date. 
We found that drummers are 
interested in definite, musical 
notes. The reaction has been 

For more information, con¬ 
tact Om Percussion Inc., 627-E 
Pinellas Street, Clearwater, FL 
33516, or phone (813) 446- 


Ludwig has announced the 
availability of their new Rocker 
and Rocker II series drum out¬ 
fits, along with new Rocker 
hardware. Described by Mar¬ 
keting Manager Jim Catalano 
as "Ludwig's most affordable 
drums," the kits will be priced 
within the student budget 
range. Catalano pointed out 
that the Rocker and Rocker II 
outfits would meet the demand 
for a beginning outfit bearing 

the brand name "Ludwig" and 
offering Ludwig quality and 
value at a competitive price. 
New shell construction, new 
sealed-inside-shell finishes, and 
new high-gloss colors are 
among the features incorpo¬ 
rated into the new Rocker out¬ 
fits. Three new lines of hard¬ 
ware, categorized as heavy 
duty, mid-line and light weight 
are also available now at 
Ludwig dealers. 


Latin Percussion is now offer¬ 
ing a line of rotationally tuned 
drums at what they term 
"affordable prices." The 
drums feature double-braced 
tilting stands and clear heads. 
Sizes are 6", 8" and 10" 
(mounted as a set on one 
stand), 12", 14" and 16". For 
more information, contact 
Latin Percussion at 160 Bel¬ 
mont Avenue, Garfield, NJ 


A new series of pretuned power 
tom drumsets has been intro¬ 
duced by Remo, Inc. The PTS 
4000 Series features new deep- 
shell tom-toms, a 6 1/2 x 14 
Rock Royal snare drum and a 
16 x 22 bass drum, said to pro¬ 
vide the power, sound and 
appearance favored by many 
drummers. Five-, six-, seven- 


The Zildjian Cymbal Company 
has announced new develop¬ 
ments in both the Amir and K. 
Zildjian series. Amir Power Hi- 
Hat cymbals have several semi¬ 
circular notches cut out of the 
edge of the bottom cymbal to 
produce a much bigger "chick" 
sound, and more volume. The 
"focused energy" sound of 
Zildjian's Amir line combines 
with the unique Power Hi-Hat 
design to create a bright, metal¬ 
lic sound with a fast decay, 
allowing the drummer to play 
harder without building up 
overtones, and offering out¬ 
standing cut and projection for 
playing with amplified instru¬ 

From Zildjian's Sound Labs 
have come new models in the K. 
Zildjian line. Odd size K. Dark 


and eight-piece sets are avail¬ 
able in black, white or Concord 
blue finish. 

All sets include Remo's 3000 
Series professional - grade 
heavy-duty snare, cymbal and 
hi-hat stands and bass drum 
pedal. Six- and seven-piece sets 
include one adjustable double¬ 
tom stand, while the eight-piece 
set has two double-tom stands. 

All sets can be ordered with 
Remo's PTS/CS Black Dot or 
PTS/Ambassador drumheads. 
Suggested list prices range from 
$562.50 for the five-piece sets 
up to $774.50 for the eight- 
piece sets equipped with 
Ambassador heads. 

Details are available from 
Remo, Inc., 12804 Raymer 
Street, North Hollywood, CA 


Crashes in 15" and 17" join the 
16", 18" and 20" sizes previ¬ 
ously available. The 14" and 
15" K. hi-hats are now joined 
by 13" models, and China Boys 
in 17" and 19" sizes are now 
available. K. heavy rides are 
now offered in 18", 20" and 22" 
sizes, while flat rides in the same 
sizes have also been introduced, 
along with K. splashes. 

Long a favorite of jazz drum¬ 
mers for their unique tonal 
qualities, the new K.'s have 
recently begun appearing in the 
stage setups of rock and funk 
drummers who want to add dif¬ 
ferent colors to their tonal pal¬ 
ette. For further information, 
contact the Zildjian Cymbal 
Company, Longwater Drive, 
Norwell, MA 02061. 




Martin Chambers will go ro any length for the 
perfect drumstick. 

Martin’s powerful drumming drives the phe¬ 
nomenally successful Pretenders sound. Rut a bad 
drumstick is enough to make him climb walls. 
With the Pretenders success, and his own repu¬ 
tation as a tine drummer, Martin can play any 
equipment he chooses . . . and [Van Markley's 
2S is the only stick he'll use. 

Dean Markley drumsticks are made from only 
the finest select hickory, slowly dried to a low 
moisture content to deliver maximum durability. 

Our special sealing process penetrates and pro 
tects the wood without a lacquer coating. The 
result is a natural wood stick that feels great and 
wont slipout of your hand, even in the middle 
of a tricky caper. 

So remember, you don’t have to turn ro a life 
of crime to find the right stick, just buy a pair 
of [Van Markley’s premium hickory drumsticks 
from your dealer today. 

Then go out and steal the show tonight. 

civiiti vi. « s'rii iii litviniik nwtiu ui 


The Calzone Case Company 
has announced the introduc¬ 
tion of two new lines. The new 
Pro-Line II series is similar in 
features and construction to 
Calzone's popular Escort 
cases, but features a trimmed- 
down design to provide a less 
expensive and lighter weight 
alternative for those seeking 
professional protection at an 
affordable price. The line fea¬ 
tures Calzone's patented dou¬ 
ble-angle construction for 
strength and protection, 1/4" 
plywood with black vinyl lami¬ 
nate, and a lining of custom 
precut high-density foam. 

The second new Calzone line 
is the Square Convoy pro per¬ 
cussion case series. Similar in 
construction to the existing 
Convoy pro percussion line, the 
Square percussion cases feature 

Calzone's patented double¬ 
angle corner extrusions, alumi¬ 
num tongue and groove va¬ 
lence, lockable catches, foam 
padding throughout and con¬ 
struction of 1/8" ABS plastic. 
The case series is designed for a 
wide range of drum sizes, 
including bass drums, toms, 
snares, and accessories/hard¬ 
ware. The square cases will 
stack more easily than conven¬ 
tional round-style cases. An¬ 
other advantage is that large 
and bulky hardware will fit 
nicely into the corners, due to 
the square design (no more 
headaches with oversize float¬ 
ing snare strainers). 

For further information on 
any of Calzone's case lines, 
contact Calzone Case Com¬ 
pany, 225 Black Rock Avenue, 
Bridgeport, CT 06605. 


Fender's new M-l is a minia¬ 
ture (12 gram, 1 1/4" long) con¬ 
denser microphone which, 
according to Steve Woolley, 
marketing director of Fender's 
Pro-Sound division, opens up 
whole new possibilities in crea¬ 
tive microphone applications. 
"The three unique things about 
the M-l are its small size, direc¬ 
tional pickup pattern, and its 
ability to handle 148dB sound 
pressure levels without distort¬ 
ing," Woolley says. "So you 
can mike very close to a high- 
level source, like a snare drum, 
and get great isolation. Add in 
the almost perfectly flat 
response and other features, 
and you've got something truly 
new in microphones." 

The M-l interfaces to mixers 
via a shirt pocket-size battery/ 
electronics box which provides 
a switchable low-cut filter, as 
well as a notch filter tunable 
from 50 to 320 Hz, making it 
invaluable for feedback and 
resonance control, especially 
when miking acoustic instru¬ 
ments. The unit operates on 

internal battery or 48V phan¬ 
tom power, if available, for 
additional dynamic range. Sup¬ 
plied accessories include tie 
clip, foam windscreen, and 
hard carrying case. 

To take advantage of the M- 
7's multi-applications poten¬ 
tial, Fender offers three special¬ 
ized mounting "clip kits." All 
make use of black vinyl-clad 
flexible wire (equivalent to 
standard solid-core, insulated 
electrical wire), which may be 
cut to any desired length to 
form a "custom gooseneck" 
for any particular application. 
The general application A-kit 
includes a detachable mic' clip, 
telescoping antenna section, 
and a spring-loaded clamp with 
rubber-lined jaws for attach¬ 
ment to mic' stands, drum 
stands, hi-hats, etc. The eye¬ 
glass/headset B-kit includes 
mic' holder, flexible wire, and 
small padded clip, making it 
ideal for singing drummers. 
The C-kit is designed for 
attachment to flat surfaces such 
as acoustic guitar tops. 


Sony announces a new addition 
to their Musician Series micro¬ 
phone line: the Sony DR-K400 
headphone microphone. The 
DR-K400 combines an MDR 
headphone already renowned 
for excellent sound quality and 
fit, with a close-talking dy¬ 
namic microphone. The main 

features of the DR-K400 
are high-sound-quality head¬ 
phones for monitor purposes; 
compact, high-quality, water- 
resistant dynamic microphone; 
flexible microphone arm coup¬ 
led with an automatic micro- 
phone-off mechanism; a 
"unimatch" plug enabling con¬ 
nection to a wide range of 
equipment; and a microphone 
windscreen designed to elimi¬ 
nate wind noise. The design of 
the DR-K400 is most suited for 
singing drummers and key¬ 
board players. The unit is avail¬ 
able from all leading music 


been a favorite of rock 'n' roll 
drummers because of its heavy- 
duty construction, adjust¬ 
ability and unique feel. The 
pedal is currently being used on 
tour by Mike Baird, with Rick 

Paul Real, president of Paul 
Real Sales, indicated that the 
present list price of the Caro- 
line/ASBA pedal is lower than 
yr Vjj when it was previously avail¬ 

able in the U.S., and in addition 
to a good supply of complete 
pedals, Paul Real Sales has a 
large inventory of replacement 
parts. For more information, 
contact Paul at 745 Oak Knoll 
Circle, Pasadena, CA91106, or 
call (818) 792-6847. 

Paul Real Sales has been named 
exclusive importer of the 
French-made Caroline/ASBA 
bass drum pedal by S.A. 
Capelle. The pedal has long 


Primo, Inc. announces its 
appointment as the exclusive 
distributor of Trak drums in 
the U.S.A. Trak represents the 
only new, complete line of pro¬ 
fessional-quality drums and 
drumware to be introduced in 
this decade according to Dave 
Rothfeld, president of Primo. 

After years of research and 
development, H.R.K. Drum 
Institute in Japan has produced 
a line of products that reflects 
input from drummers and pro 
drum retailers alike. Built 
entirely in Japan to exacting 
standards, Trak encompasses 
four complete systems of 
drums and related drumware 

ranging from the System One 
for the amateur and the student 
to the System Four for the most 
demanding professional. The 
key to Trak is in its unique com¬ 
bination of a "studio-quality" 
sound and road-worthy, rug¬ 
ged construction. This allows 
the pro to utilize the same setup 
for recording and the road, and 
at prices you'd expect from far 
less sophisticated manufactur¬ 

Primo, Inc. is located at 50 
Brigham Street, Marlboro, MA 
01752, (617) 480-0300, and has 
a qualified staff of sales profes¬ 
sionals servicing music retailers 
in all 50 states. 



P.O. BOX 807A 
LYNBROOK, N.Y. 11563 

□ Please send the Avanti story, FREE! 

□ Also send me your colorful 22" x 33" poster. I am enclosing $2 




My favorite store is 


"I've used them all and none compares to Avanti. 

Finally, Avanti gives me a personal sound all my own... 
alive, powerful with strong accents when I want it. 

I won’t play any other." 


not pieas^ltie^ 

Some Rude Experiences... 

Paisle RUDE cymbals are energetic 
sounding cymbals which are known for 
their ability to project 

This is how Ronald Shannon 
Jackson experienced RUDE from the 
audience level. "For crash cymbals. 
Paisle RUDES are something else. 
They'll cut through anything. I saw 
Police a! Shea Stadium. Stewart 
Copeland had this little 14" RUDE 
crasn. I realized during one song that it 
was projecting like crazy, and it wasn't 
the sound system cutting through-it 
was that cymbal!" 

Chrisse Karjalainen, Finnish 
drummer, reported from the 2-day open- 
air Ruis-Rock Festival in Sunny Finland 
where.. .“it rained and the PA was bad" 
(does that sound familiar?)..."Of all the 
cymbals on stage. RUDE were the only 
ones you could hear!” 

Big Country drummer Mark 
Brzezicki uses RUDE because from the 
playing position: "Not only do you hear 
RUDES, but you can feel them." 

And feeling is a necessity for Miles 
Davis’ drummer, Al Foster, who plays 
a RUDE 22" Ride/Crash which shows 
the versatility of this cymbal range Need 
more convincing of theii versatility? The 
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, on 
a recent trip to the Paisle factory picked 
out a matched pair of 19" RUDE for their 
orchestral use. 

Want to know more about RUDE? 
Write Paiste. 460 Atlas Street, Brea 
CA 92621 

Advertiser's Index 

Action/Reaction ........... 50 

Aquarian Accessories ..„.59,109 

Avanti .. 147 

AxeKlic-Trac . 127 

Bomber Beaters... 121 

CalzoneCase Co. 114 

Camber Cymbals .. 51 

Caruso Music Stores .. 120 

Casino Percussion Products .85 

Corder Drum Co. .. 134 

Cosmic Percussion . 94 

Countryman Associates. 130 

CUSO Drums . 107 

DC Percussion .. 63 

DCI Music Video . 129 

Dial-A-Drum . 119 

Discount Music and Drum World. 107 

Drum Muff .. 62 

Drum Workshop. 57 

Drummers Collective . 113 

Drums Ltd./Frank's Drum Shop ... 105 


Dynacord .. 73 

Eardrummer. 66 

Emerald Drums . 135 

Five Towns College . 109 

Fred Gretsch Enterprises . 134 

Freeport Music . 120 

Gary Chaffee Music. 118 

Gretsch Drums .. Inside Back Cover 

HilyardsTees .. 118 

Imperial Creations. Ill 

Innovative Percussion Products .. 105 

Istanbul Cymbals . 131 

Juggs Percussion .99 

Kirk Scotts Drum City .63 

Latin Percussion . 47,108,127 

L. T. Lug Lock.. 58 

Ludwig Industries .. Inside Front Cover 

Manny's Music Store . 101 

MARC .79 

Dean Markley Drum Sticks .. 145 

Maxwin Drums. 121 

MD Library .. 68 

Mechanical Music .56 

Murray Bass Drum Muffler Co. 128 

Muscara Music . 137 

Music Technology/Digisound .. 115 

Musicians Institute .. 77 

NJ Percussion Center... 78 

NJ School of Percussion .. *...» 77 

North Percussion .. 65 

Paiste Cymbals.7,148 

Paul Real Sales... 113,122 

Pearl International. 5,82/83 

Percussion Center ... 117 

Percussion Express .. 86 

Percussive Arts Society . 124 

Peterson Percussion .. 122 

Powergrip . 89 

Precision Drum Co. .. 117 

Premier Percussion U.S.A.3 

Profile Cymbals . 81 

Promark . 52/53 

Pulse-"R" Enterprises .. 119 

RegalTip/Calato .. 61 

Remo. 96 

Resonant Drum Sticks .. 123 

Rhythmic Publications . 123 

Riff Rite .. Ill 

R.O.C. Drums . 18 

Rolls Music Center . 124 

Sabian. 84,90,139 

Sam Ash Music Stores . 125 

Sam Bradley/Hitmen Pub. 84 

"Set-The-Pace" Pedal Practice Pads .60 

ShureBrothers. 91 

Simmons Electronic Drums . 70/71,95,141 

Slobeat Percussion Products .. 121,125 

Sonor . 143 

Super Shake Co. 120 

Syndrum. 93 

Tama .. 74/75,97 

The Drum Emporium . 108 

The Drum Shop-Houston. 107 

The Woodwind & The Brasswind ... *.., 78 

Thoroughbred Music .69,119 

Trak Drums .. 92 

Uinta Body Works . 116 

Valley Drum Shop .. 103 

Vic Firth. 100,116 

Wizard International . 117 

Yamaha... Poster 

Zildjian . 49,76,87. Outside Back Cover 


p>u $: Shelly Monne 

Nick Mason 

Ollie Drown 


Gerry Brown... 

...(with Lionel Richie)... 

...on Techware. m 

"Now Grctsch has (he stands and 
holders to go along with the Gretsch 
shells that have always been the 
greatest. The rough road use of my kit 
demands the durability that Tcchwarc 
offers. With their "Tcch-Lok" patented 
clamps, none of my stands will let me 
down on the road or in the studio.*' 

Haruey Mason (studio)... 

...on natural wood finishes. 

*Tve always loved the sound of Gretsch 
drums, but in this business looks are as 
Important as sound. The six-ply maple 
staggered laminated shells provide the 
sound...and their new colors arc a 
knock-out. The new Natural Black 
Ebony Is my favorite." 

Phil Collins (Genesis)... 

...on wood shells. 

“My first real kit was a Gretsch and 
they've always had a lovely sound. 

I've always wanted a brand new set of 
Gretsch so I went out and bought one a 
few years ago. I kind of collect drums 
and I always keep coming back to the 
Grctsch sound after I try something 
different. Now, I am playing what I 
really wanted all along.” 

Mark Herndon (Alabama)... 

...on snare drums. 
"The snare drum is the most Important 
component in any set-up. I play in all 
types of live and studio settings, both 
Indoor and outdoor concerts. I must 
have a snare drum that cuts through 
even the most difficult sound situation. 
Both my Gretsch wood shell and brass 
shell snare drums provide me with the 
clarity and projection that only Gretsch 
can provide." 


P.O. BOX 1250 
Telex 786571 (Gretsch Gatn) 


Jo Jones made Zild|i3n 
hi hats the tocus for time¬ 
keeping and Max Roach 
was the first to play them as 
an individual “instrument" 
Gifted funk drummers like 
Bernard Purdie built their 
rhythm sound around 
distinctively accented 16fh 
note patterns on Zild|ian 
♦Tats to add an extra sense 
of momentum or texture to 
the music. 

These days. Vinrne 
Cola.uta, Omar Hakim and 
leading session players 
like Steve Gadd and J.R. 
Robinson use our hi hats for 
shorter, tighter sounds that 
weave through the music to 
make their rhythm tracks 
stand out Hard rockers like 
Martin Chambers and Tommy 
Pnce depend an Zildjian hats 
for a biting, rhythmic sound 
to drive amplified music 

Zildjian creates an 
unequalled variety o! hi hats, 
each with its own unique 
sonic personality, to give you 

the most options in terms 
of tone colors and textures, 
different "chick" sounds, 
volume, feel and response 

The Zildjian New Beat 
Hi Hat is the most played 
in the world because of its 
exceptional tonal clarity ana 
projection Our innovative 
Quick Beat Hi Hat delivers an 
ultra-last resjDonse for lunk 
and rock styles because ot 
its patented bottom cymbal 
design with four openings 
to tel the air escape while 
maintaining maximum 
cymbal-to-cymbal contact 

K -- 

If you're looking for a 
hi hat sound with a warmer 
tone that adds another 
dimension to your set up. 
try the distinctively different 
K Zifdjian hi hat 


The higher-pitched Amir 
hi hats produce a last, 
shimmering sound which 
blends weft with electronic 

studio Zildjian's new Amir 
Power Hats (patent pending) 
give you a quick response 
and added projection tor live 
playing situations 


Created to cut right 
throuah the loudest 
amplification, the raw and 
unrefined impulse Power 
Hats combine incredible 
volume with the ultimate 
projection ot the rhythmic 

Experiment with different 
hi fiats to open up new 
possibilities as you discover 
your own "signature" rhythm 
sound Take chances Try 
"cross matching' different top 
and bottom cymbals lor 
unique combinations ot tone 
and projection—like a f'few 
Beat top wrth an Impulse 
bottom or a K top wth a Quick 
Beat bottom And write lor a 
Zildjian White paper to find 
out why our Hi Hats are 
muscat instruments and not 
just time keepers 
Avedis Zildjian Company, 
Longwater Drive, 

Norwell Mass 02061 USA